Woolworths has opened two virtual supermarkets, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne, in a bid to plug its mobile shopping application.
The virtual supermarket (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)
Users of the Woolworths app for iOS and Android can go to Sydney's Town Hall station or Melbourne's Flinders Street Station where they will find 120 barcodes underneath pictures of the products on the wall, arranged like a supermarket shelf. From there, users can use the app to scan the products they want to purchase and have them shipped to a nominated address for a fee.
Users looking to use the new virtual shop space will need to be quick, however, after the supermarket's innovation program manager, Has Fakira, told ZDNet Australia that it will only be around for a week.
Fakira said that the stores would be manned by Woolworths' staff, who will assist users with their purchases and gather feedback on the virtual supermarket. From there, the initiative will be assessed on the information gathered from user surveys, iTunes reviews, social media comments and feedback into the supermarket's dedicated online shopping call centre.
"The beauty of the whole mobile initiative was based on customer feedback. We look at focus groups, how people are using the app and how they would like to, and we change it. We need to listen to our customers, they're finding ways of using technology that will help them with their lives, and we want to be there with them," Fakira said.
While Woolworths' new digital initiative still sees the company using a physical presence to plug an online store by putting up barcodes in train stations, Coles, via its Coles Express outlets in Melbourne, trialled temporary storage fridges that would hold groceries purchased by online users until they could be picked up by their owners.
Fakira said that Woolworths didn't need to consider a similar initiative thanks to extended courier hours and its click-and-collect program.
"The mobile shopping service offers you a range of delivery windows, which you can select from between 8am to 10pm. We have an option at a selected number of areas in Sydney where you can click and collect from supermarkets," he said.