An update on department store digital innovations in China

Today many department stores in China have been struggling with revenue growth. Hence new technology aiming at enhancing the customer experience seems to come to the rescue. For instance,

  • Yintai In77 in Hangzhou has been collaborating with a local startup to install facial recognition cameras in the whole area in order to gain insights on traffics coming in & out of the mall.

  • New World Department Store rolled out the pilot project of SMART MAll while partnered with Alibaba to implement self check-out system and facial recognition payment, as the company has been facing severe profit reduction in consecutive years.

  • Hi Department Store, headquartered in Guangzhou, even experimented the idea of “Unmanned Department Store” last year.

  • TianHong Group is joining forces with Tencent, leveraging the power of Wechat enterprise account to work on a 360-degree digitalization of its CRM and loyalty program, covering its 18 million online memebers.

A recent survey conducted on 90 major department stores in China indicates that the adoption of the latest digital innovations is on the rise, though whether these technologies can help them to fend off the aggression from e-commerce which has gradually eaten away their offline traffics and sales remain to be seen.

By: Cecilia Wu