New: Virtual Bus Stop Supermarket
A Dutch supermarket Jumbo, one of the market leaders, experiments with a virtual bus-stop-supermarket in the city of Utrecht, in The Netherlands.
The bus-stop supermarket presents a selection of products, proven to be favourite buys for their customers. The items are processed quickly, scanned and added to a virtual shopping cart using the 'Jumbo app'. The products are of course delivered right to your doorstep. The bus-stop-supermarket is open all hours.
The novelty concept of shopping while waiting for the bus is part of Jumbo's 'Easily Ordered, Quickly Delivered' campaign, featuring the Dutch Formula One racing-driver Max Verstappen. Jumbo also sees its delivery service for online orders as an effective way to attract customers with little time to shop. It has recently extended their online delivery service to cover the province of Utrecht as well as Utrecht city. For the Netherlands the bus-stop-supermarket-experiment is a big step in virtual grocery shopping.
The Jumbo experiment in The Netherlands reminds me of Tesco's QR code subway store with Homeplus in South Korea, which was launched in 2012. Check out this short movie:
"Business Today" explains the Homeplus subway QR-code store works in this way:
Interested customers download the Homeplus app into their smartphones.
They then use their smartphones to scan the QR codes of the products they want to purchase. The posters resemble the actual aisles and shelves of a regular Tesco store.
The scanned products are stored in the customers' online shopping basket, who pay online once their order is completed. Homeplus reported that the majority of the orders are placed at 10 am and 4 pm, when people are commuting to and from work.
Customers schedule a time for home delivery. Same-day delivery is the norm, so that customers can get their products by the time they get back home from work.
This virtual subway store has been a huge success with commuters and drove over 900,000 app downloads in less than one year. "Business Today" reports that: "Online sales increased 130 per cent since the introduction of the virtual stores and registered app users increased by 76 per cent. In February 2012, Tesco Homeplus announced it was extending the virtual store concept to 20 new locations across the country. Today, there are 22 Homeplus virtual stores in South Korea, and the brand is the country's No. 1 online retailer".
Now, the bus stop supermarket in the Netherlands is an experiment. Experimenting is a great way to validate the adoption and attractiveness of your new product, service, process or experience through systematic research or testing. You test your new concept to learn if it really delivers value to your customer and if the business model you came up with is valid. By doing so, you validate the future business potential of your new concept.
The goal of experimentation at the start of innovation is to learn and improve. I couldn’t agree more with Davila & Epstein who state in their book The Innovation Paradox that: “Because breakthrough innovation is all about managing ignorance (rather than managing knowledge, as in incremental innovation), the way to learn is through confronting assumptions concerning a market with the reality of that market. The right technology and the right business model are discovered and shaped through smart experiments. A successful breakthrough innovation is not simply an ingenious idea, but an entire process of discovery and crafting.”
I hope you are inspired by Jumbo's experiment with virtual grocery shopping, and you will start your own experiments to disrupt your market. Wishing you lots of success on your innovation journey.
Are you looking for a speaker on innovation? Check out the movies and reviews at gijsvanwulfen.com.
Tony Davila & Marc J. Epstein, The Innovation Paradox, Berret-Koehler Inc., San Francisco, 2014, p. 52.