Time spent waiting for a delayed train during peak hour is wasted no more. China uses m-commerce and QR codes to let commuters do their supermarket shop while they wait.
The mobile commerce boom has hit China’s shores and local retailers are using it to their advantage.
Retailers are making large investments in m-commerce, particularly within the larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
One of these retailers, Yihaodian, has developed ‘shopping walls’ in 70 subway stations around Shanghai as well as placing more than 500 advertising boards in public areas of Beijing in the last month. Much like walking through a virtual supermarket, the shopping walls allow consumers to buy products by scanning a QR code through a transaction terminal. Their purchases are then delivered within 24 hours.
Yu Lili, Director of the wireless application department for Yihaodian said that the new way of mobile commerce would only grow from here. “We have made plans to have permanent shopping walls installed in large cities in the next few years, and we may consider having the virtual supermarkets installed in local communities.”
Analysys International, an internet market research firm has found that 16.8 million smartphones were sold in China in the second quarter of this year, up from 13.5 million units from last year. The company also found that purchases made through mobile devices reached $261 million in the second quarter of 2011. Of these mobile purchases, 73% were made through web transactions and 27% through transaction terminals installed on mobile phones.
Although mobile commerce has been introduced in China, analysts say it may not continue to spread at such a rapid rate because the use of smart phones is not as yet widespread across the country.
“The technology is sufficient to support the development of mobile commerce. The number of smartphone users is increasing, but it is not as high as it is in developed countries, so it will take time for the business model to develop,” Yu stated.