The Future Is Here! – Tesco’s Virtual Stores


(see the links below for videos of the virtual stores in action)

Initially installed and trialled, in the subway tunnels of South Korea! and now Tesco’s virtual stores have come to england. The futuristic digital stores can currently be found in Gatwick airport, London. The virtual stores consist of electronic billboards, displaying shelves stocked with products each with their own barcode. Customers can use Tesco’s dedicated phone application to scan the barcodes ,adding the products to their online basket, and the customer can then choose a desired delivery time.

The clever tecnique was first trialled in Korea in 2011 and is proving to be a huge success. Tesco, (or homeplus as it is named in South korea) announced the following statistics:

  • A tremedous increase in online sales
  • 10,000 customers visited the website using their smartphones
  • The number of new registered members rose by 76%
  • increase of online sales by 130%

Tescos also recieved a huge amount of positive feedback from customers in Korea and became the no.1 online market.

Is this the future of online shopping? Gives us your opinions! It certainly seems so as Tescos research predicts that:

“90% of UK consumers will be using smarphones by 2016, and UK consumers will spend 4.5bn via their smartphones in 2012”

Below we have provided links to the youtube videos of this futureistic approach to shopping and our opinions of the advantages and disadvantages of this method:



  • saves consumers time on their shopping, through the use of a quicker system and through the oppurtunity to shop during times you could not usually shop (ie. whilst waiting in the airport for a plane)
  • saves space in stores, as the displays consist of flat electronic boards.
  • allows Tesco’s the oppurtunity to feature their stores in untraditional, unusual locations such as Subway stations.
  • enables the saving of fuel costs for customers, and reduces overall CO2 emissions, as a large truck can carry a large quantity of consumers products, as opposed to each individual customer travelling by car to the stores.
  • an exciting and new system which captures the audiences attention, stands out, and creates a sense of excitement amongst consumers


  • possible malfunctions/crashing of smartphones during the transaction process. May slow the process
  • some smartphones are slower and less functional than others, and so the process may be slowed or fustrated
  • targetting a niche market, as in order to make use of the tecnology, customers need to own a smartphone which is capable of scanning barcodes

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