Alibaba Tests Smile-and-Pay Facial Recognition Shopping

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Alibaba Futuremart facial recognition cashierless store in China

Amazon isn’t the only e-tailer offering cashierless brick-and-mortar stores. Alibaba’s new Futuremart store in Hangzhou, China, demonstrates its cutting-edge tech and possible scenarios for the future of shopping.

Alibaba Futuremart cashierless shopping in China

Customers enter the store where facial recognition technology provides identification, while they can scan a QR code with their Taobao, Tmall or Alipay apps so they can shop.

In another twist on facial recognition, the “Happy Go” happiness meter offers discounts for smiling. When you’re done shopping, they just walk out. Facial recognition and RFID technology at the exit confirm identification so Alipay can process the transaction.

Alibaba Tmall Futuremart cashierless facial recognition store in China

A sign on the wall also outlines policies such as the returns/exchange policy or what to do in the event of a payment failure (in both instances, “consult the service desk”).

Amazon Go, which opened in January to the public, also lets you start shopping by scanning the Amazon Go app as they enter the store and pass through the turnstile.

Then they can pick up any item or items they want to purchase and just walk out the door. The bill will be charged directly to their Amazon account, while phones aren’t necessary to shop.

Better Retailing recently teamed up with PayPoint and two top UK convenience retailers for an exclusive study tour of Amazon Go in Seattle.

Panasonic is also testing walk-in/walk-out RFID Checkout with an undisclosed partner in Japan to gauge the customer journey:

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