Over half of convenient O2O service of Korea is a white elephant
Over half of convenient O2O service of Korea is a white elephant
  • By Koo Tae-eon Lawyer
  • 승인 2019.05.19 23:34
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The Big Cloud era is blurring boundaries between industries
Lawyer Koo Tae-eon/TEK & LAW, CEO
Lawyer Koo Tae-eon/TEK & LAW, CEO

 

Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce company, has opened the world's first unattended convenience store, Amazon Go, on the first floor of its Seattle headquarters in January 2018. It is very simple to use. You can scan your smartphone at the entrance that looks like a subway ticket and picks up the product you want, then go back through the check out counter.

Here's how it works. When you turn on the pre-downloaded Amazon Go app, the QR code will appear. if you scan it at the check out counter, it will automatically recognize it. When the green light is on, and the customer starts to enter inside and pick into the stuff, a lot of cameras and sensors on the ceiling take them into a virtual shopping cart.

If you put the stuff back in place, it also will disappear from the shopping cart list. When you have selected all the items, you can carry them as they are and leave the entrance. When you have finished your shopping, you can just simply pass the check-out counter without turn on the app. And then, after about five minutes, the receipt will be sent to the smartphone. Payment will be processed with a credit card registered in advance on the app. In a word, "Amazon Go" is that "Just Walk Out." This means that you should just walk out after shopping. That's Amazon's "No" policy which is "No Lines," "No Checkouts," and "No Registers" 

To this end, Amazon applied the same advanced technology used in autonomous vehicles. 
'Computer Vision' for recognizing images like human eyes, 'Sensor Fusion' for combining images and data sending from cameras and various sensors, Deep learning to analyze and learn the collected information to find patterns. Many people were fascinated by Amazon's new shopping style, and Amazon opened several more stores this year due to the explosive response.

Industrial terrain on the Big Cloud era is vague

This is not the first time the online dinosaur Amazon has expanded to offline. In November 2016, Amazon has opened Amazon Books, an offline bookstore, Including Seattle where its headquarters are located, 13 places including San Diego and Manhattan has been operating since November 2017. 

One of the great features of Amazon Books is that it combines the advantages of online and offline. Amazon Prime customers who are paid members of Amazon can purchase books offline at the same discount as online. You can also enjoy free delivery your purchased book in the bookstore. Scanners are located throughout the bookstore so you can instantly check the original price and Amazon discount price when you scan the book barcode, or you can put it in your shopping cart like online.

It also has information capabilities as well as online bookstores. Amazon displays books that received more than four out of every five stars on Amazon in the most visible places. Next, you are able to read the book on Amazon.com. Amazon Books plans to increase the number of offline stores to 400 in the future, under circumstances the offline bookstore is closing one after another, only Amazon Books is driving backward. This is not the only thing.

Amazon launched "Amazon Fresh," a fresh food pickup service that orders first an online and visits an offline stores in 2017, and acquired Whole Foods Market, an organic food chain more than 470 stores across the U.S. It is a strategy to become a distribution dinosaur even in offline after online. Recently, furniture and appliances stores using AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are also in preparation. At this point, you'll be wondering whether Amazon is an online company or an offline company.

Naver has been a significant increase in its portion of Naver Shopping recently

Naver's shopping transactions are estimated at 4.6 trillion won in 2017. The figure is the third largest in the industry after eBay Korea's 13.7 trillion won combined with Gmarket and Auction and 9 trillion won on 11th Street. Stock markets predict that the trading volume exceeds 9 trillion won in 2018, and compete for the second place with the 11th street. It is now difficult to tell whether Naver is a portal company or an online shopping company. If you look at recent changes in the industrial ecosystem, you can read one common trend.  That is that the boundaries between industries are gradually blurred.

As high-tech ICT such as artificial intelligence(AI), big data, and Internet of Things (IoT) develops at a rapid pace, it is called "Big Blur," referring to the phenomenon of blurring the boundaries of existing industries. Blur means "become unclear or less distinct." futurist Stan Davis first used it in a 1999 book titled <Blur: Speed of Change in a Connected Economy> and later entered the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and began to become popular in what it is now.

The word may be unfamiliar, but Big Blur is already deeply entrenched in our daily lives. For example, Fin Tech, which allows users to pay at offline stores with smartphone apps without having to go to the bank, are both financial service and IT technology. Biometric authentication that verifies the identity with biometric information such as fingerprint or iris is not only biotechnology but also IT security technology. An artificial intelligent speaker that controls the electronic devices in the home by voice and an autonomous driving car which the automobile takes care of are based on the Internet (IoT), while the real products belong to the manufacturing industry.

O4O Business Innovates Offline

Among them, "Online to Offline" (O2O) is the leading factor in the big-blur phenomenon. O2O, which uses smartphones to connect offline goods and services with consumers, is breaking the boundaries between offline and online at the fastest pace. Now it's been a routine every day to take a taxi, book accommodation, and order food with smartphone apps. These days, when you press a smartphone app, you can the services you want to wash your car, pick up and deliver laundry one-stop, and the cleaner comes and cleans the house

In recent years, the number of people who want "work and life balance", which means work-life balance, and "small-small but sure-happiness". Smartphone apps that make reservations are also getting a good response to the people.

It's not the end of the story. Just as the hollowed-out embankment can never prevent it from collapsing by any means, the already broken offline and online boundaries will fade out even it's hard to find out its mark. In the process, there will be a whole new set of industries that have a different character and it will be meaningless to distinguish between what is online and what is offline.

One of them is the Online for Offline (O4O) business, which is drawing attention as a new business these days. Previously, O2O was an offline system for ordering food through a smartphone app. On the other hand, O4O automatically takes place and pays off without having to stand in line if it only installs Smartphone apps.. 

Amazon Books is an offline bookstore but offers the same benefits as online. Amazon Books, which can simultaneously enjoy online advantages such as discounts and deliveries while experiencing the charm of paper books that can only be felt offline, is writing a new formula for its bookstore business.  

Amazon Go is an offline convenience store, but it does not go through the whole process from purchase to settlement. The products sold here are no different from the existing convenience stores, but Amazon's smart shopping methods attract many people. Amazon Books, which can enjoy online benefits such as discounts and deliveries while experiencing the charm of paper books that can only be felt offline, is writing a new formula for bookstore business

If O2O has been in the role of online brokering service that existed in offline, O4O will be a step of creating new business offline by utilizing the big data and technology accumulated by the company that has grown based on online It will evolve.

Just as IT company Google becomes the leader in self-driving cars, which used to be the manufacturing sector, and Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce company, becomes an absolute powerhouse in offline distribution. Where will we stand in an age of infinite competition? That's why we need to make every effort and support to foster a global Internet platform from now on.

Lawyer Koo Tae-eon/TEK & LAW, CEO (taeeon.koo@teknlaw.com)

The Korean version of this article is at http://www.koreaittimes.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=90427


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