TESCO, a giant retailer based in England changed its name to Home Plus in South Korea as part of its continuing plan to evolve and adapt to a unique local market by using mobile technology and QR codes.
Home Plus’ mission to become the no.1 supermarket chain without establishing more stores in South Korea, tapped into the local market’s reputation as the world’s second most hardworking people who dread the once a week grocery shopping because it is time consuming and would take time away from their work and their families. The idea of bringing the grocery to the people gave birth to the launching of Home Plus virtual store in August 2011 according to Koreabridge.
Choosing the right location
Internet access and traffic are two of the most important factors to be considered in launching QR codes as a marketing campaign tool. Seolleung subway station has the capacity to support wireless network and it has 200,000 commuters who use the station daily. With 15.4 million South Koreans who are smartphone users, some of them might pass by the station at one time or another.
The virtual store
Seven pillars and six platform screen doors with backlit posters of products looked like the actual aisles and shelves of Home Plus. The shelves were packed with images of products like milk, egg, pasta sauce, gochujang (korean chili paste), tissues, digital camera, fresh fruits, juices and various items that have QR codes.
How to buy
Commuters waiting for their trains, simply scan the QR codes of the products they want to purchase through their smartphones and the product will be added to their online chart. Payment is made through their smartphone too and the groceries are delivered to their homes right after they arrive without the hustle and bustle of actual shopping.
Tesco Home Plus’s innovation in using mobile technology and QR codes and their desire to understand and serve better their unique local market, propelled them to become the no. 1 online store in South Korea and a close second to its competitor in offline stores.