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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : December 12, 2011

Singapore: QR Codes help time-starved commuters shop for groceries

Time-challenged commuters travelling on Singapore's transit system can now shop for groceries at two train stations using their smartphone and a barcode scanner.

by Helen Leggatt at Bugis and Boon Lay stations on Singapore's mass rapid transport (SMRT) system can now use their smartphones to cram in some Christmas food shopping while on their way too and from work.

Wall space at the two stations has been given over to a virtual store by Cold Storage, a popular fresh food retail chain in Singapore. The large poster displays will remain in place from December 7 - 20.

Images of products, along with prices, are displayed on the posters. Alongside each image is a QR Code. Time and food-starved commuters scan the codes into any smartphone, choose the required quantity and enter their details on the Cold Storage website. The items are subsequently delivered.

"A lot of commuters are always time-starved. Sometimes, they may not have time to do grocery shopping," said Dawn Loh, Managing Director of SMRT Investments. "Online shopping is a way to go now, so with a virtual store now on the public transport network which is very pervasive, we hope that the commuters can take onto this very quickly and more will come on board."

This isn't the first virtual store created by grocery retailers. A number of similar executions have already been tested by companies such as Tesco and Ocado. In a first for the UK, online-only supermarket Ocado launched a similar pop-up virtual store back in September this year.

Installed at London's 'One New Change' shopping centre the store was created by wallpapering window frontage with images of the store's most popular products along with corresponding QR Codes. Using the 'Ocado On The Go' app customers were able to scan products on the wall, add them to their basket and book a time for delivery.

Recently released data from NeoMedia revealed a huge rise in QR Code scanning during the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Use of their NeoReader barcode scanning app jumped more than 240% on Black Friday compared to last year. 2D were the most popular barcodes scanned with 87% compared with just 13% for 1D barcodes.

Tags: barcode, grocery store, mcommerce, mobile shopping, mobile trends, QR code, retail, smartphone, virtual store

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