Alibaba’s ‘Tao Cafe’ Takes the eShopping Experience Offline

(Author : Laura McQuarrie)
‘Tao Cafe’ is a newly opened 200-square-meter store from Alibaba that opened in Hangzhou, China that offers shoppers a completely self-service experience, as the offline eShopping destination is completely staff-less.

To make small purchases such as fast food and snacks, consumers must use Alibaba’s Taobao e-commerce app for transactions. Upon entering the store, patrons are scanned and identified with facial recognition technology. When it comes to placing an order, such as for a cup of coffee, one’s profile picture appears onscreen with an estimated wait time. As they leave, shoppers’ purchases are automatically processed via the app.

The launch of the Tao Cafe from Alibaba was designed to show off a “new retail” concept, showing the potential for convenient online shopping experiences to be translated into brick-and-mortar spaces.

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