LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Suning, China’s second largest non-state-owned enterprise by revenue and the owner of a Fortune Global 500 retail company – today published a White Paper at CES 2018, Las Vegas, revealing the future of Smart Retail.
‘Smart Retail: The Third-time Transformation of Retail’ charts retail’s evolution from bricks-and-mortar to E-commerce and now Smart Retail. It forecasts how the linear model of make-sell-consume will be superseded by one of experience-buy-make, seeing applied technology innovations including Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and online-to-offline (O2O) omni-channels becoming ubiquitous.
Suning says this will enable retailers to anticipate, meet and beat customer expectations by providing diversified and personalised goods and services in various consumption scenarios. An open platform of Smart Retail will also help to optimise supply chain structures, cut production costs, drive efficiency and improve economic benefits for the whole industry.
The White Paper was launched at a ‘Created in China‘ forum co-hosted by Suning in collaboration with the China Household Electric Appliance Research Institute. The event was organised to introduce innovative products and ideas from the Chinese consumer electronic industry into the global market and saw major manufacturers and retailers sharing their creative process and revealing the latest technology and design trends coming out of China.
Launching the White Paper, Mr Joshua Xiang, Executive Vice President of R&D of Suning Commerce Group and the General Manager of Suning Global Research, told the audience: “The advent of Smart Retail is about the four As: it serves Anyone who needs Anything, Anywhere, Anytime. We are quickly moving towards a future where truly intelligent smart technology will provide shoppers with personalised products and services in multiple scenarios, from smart self-service shelves andshopping guide robots to drone delivery.”
Suning’s own Smart Retail strategy revolves around Smart Sourcing, Smart Selling, Smart Services, Smart Logistics and Smart Types of Business. The latter has seen the company’s forward-thinking practice of integrating its online and offline presence achieve great success, reflected in a sky-rocketing year-on-year increase of 321.23 per cent in net profit through the first three quarters of 2017. The strategy aims to provide a smart solution to ushering in a 3D-printing era of the retail industry and driving the efficient development of business.
To showcase its credentials in Smart Selling and Smart Services. Suning has built one of its fully autonomous ‘Biu’ stores at its CES booth. Five are already open in Nanjing, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Xuzhou. Facial Recognition grants anyone linking their bank card to the Suning Finance app access to the store where, inside, a Suning Smart Recommendation shopping guide based on big-data analysis helps them with purchasing decisions. RFID technology means products need only be carried along the payment pathway for an effortless check-out taking under 15 seconds.
“The goal of both Smart Retail and Suning’s Biu stores is not to use machines to replace manual work, but to improve the consumer experience continuously,” Mr Xiang stressed.
The Created in China forum also saw Suning announce the next phase of a strategic partnership with Intel Corporation, whose Global General Manager of Retail, Jon Stine, joined Mr Xiang as a speaker at the event. The two companies have worked together since 2009 and will now cooperate on an industry leading data centre establishment, cloud operation efficiency improvement and AI user experience optimisation, to create an innovative system and business process for Smart Retail and bring constructive insights and influence to both the industry and global society.
Founded in 1990, Suning is the largest Omni-channel retailer in China with powerful commercial capability and leading technologies of Smart Retail. The company reported a 321.23 per cent surge in year-on-year Net Profit through the first three quarters of 2017, reflecting the success of its online-to-offline “O2O” retail strategy, designed to offer consumers a one-stop seamless shopping experience.
Suning has over 1,500 technology-driven bricks-and-mortar stores among almost 4,000 physical stores throughout 600+ cities in China and overseas. By the end of 2018, Suning plans to add a further 5,000 physical stores to its rapidly expanding portfolio, all being connected to its online presence. Along with retail, Suning also operates in real estate, financial services, media and entertainment, sports, and investment.