Virtual stores full potential and photo recognition.

Virtual stores are becoming hot and more popular, Tesco in Korea and UK and PeaPod in USA are great examples.. Retailers’ CEOs understand that people are in a hurry and in today’s world there is not much time left for walking around superstores and doing shopping. People appreciate fast and easy grocery shopping and virtual stores are perfect for that. Retailers invest a significant amount of money in mobile commerce launching mobile apps which helps users to make shopping lists, scan barcodes or QR codes. Basically, retailers mobile apps (like Wal-Mart or Best Buy) with QR codes and virtual stores allow people to shop outside a store. But the full potential of out of store experience is still not fully developed.


Photo recognition technology allows retailers mobile commerce solution to drive more business because customers are able to buy products by picture snapping. QR codes have a lot of limitations – they must be printed, they are black and white which make them unattractive. Besides, to scan QR code, customer must be close to where QR code is printed which makes whole experience tough. From retailer’s perspective, virtual stores which use QR codes, are more expensive to maintain. The reason is that printing QR codes creates additional cost but managing QR codes (keeping them up to date) is even more expensive. Furthermore there is also security issue. QR code can be easily covered with other QR code (rogues can simply put a sticker on retailers’ virtual stores and redirect customers to websites with inappropriate content).


Photo recognition doesn’t need customers to be close to the scanned object. It is a lot  easier to scan a product in virtual stores because the scanning proximity is not needed. Virtual stores based on image recognition are cheaper to maintain because there is no need to print additional content (like with QR codes). The same pictures which are used for other printed materials like leaflets can be used for virtual stores. Moreover there is no problem with redirecting customers to inappropriate content.


Author: Arek Skuza



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