Retail

Blibli.com Debuts Cashierless Store; Nordstrom Pilots Resale Concept

eCommerce Stores Go Brick-and-Mortar

eCommerce merchants are tapping into brick-and-mortar retail with cashless and cashierless stores. Indonesia’s Blibli.com, in one case, has opened the first location for its BlibliMart grocery brand, which supplements its online supermarket offering while meeting millenials’ demand for quick, inexpensive shopping experiences, The Jakarta Post reported.

Blibli.com Senior Vice President of Trade Partnership Fransisca Krisantia Nugraha said, per the report, “Sixty-six percent of shoppers are omnichannel shoppers … that use both online and offline platforms for their shopping needs. That’s why the retail store will hopefully bring us to these omnichannel [consumers].”

The store is located in Central Jakarta. It registered over 1,000 orders per day during its experimental phase that began in November.

Consumers can access the Blibli.com app through their phones to shop at the store. They scan the merchandise barcodes and pay with the GoPay payment app or Blipay digital payment service. The store reportedly offers an experience similar to Amazon Go, but not quite as streamlined, as shoppers have to check out with a worker to deter theft. The store’s employees also assist shoppers in becoming accustomed to cashierless shopping.

BlibliMart also harnesses eCommerce data to determine the preferences of shoppers who live close to the store to ensure that they have an appropriate selection and volume of merchandise.

Indonesia is said to have a $200 billion grocery market opportunity, with a $2 billion potential for online shopping. Other online retailers in the nation, such as JD.ID and electronics retailer Bhinneka, have also established physical stores.

In the United States, a report surfaced in November that Amazon was planning to open Amazon Go cashierless supermarkets and pop-up stores, potentially as soon as the first quarter of this year. According to an unnamed source in the report, the Amazon Go technology was being piloted in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle. Amazon first rolled out the Amazon Go C-store concept in 2017 in Seattle and had 21 U.S. stores.

From Amazon Go to Blibli.com, eCommerce retailers are opening stores with cashierless technology as they transition from the online world to brick-and-mortar.

In Other Brick-and-Mortar News

As the newest traditional retailer to tap into the growing resale market, Nordstrom is looking to sell secondhand clothes at its New York flagship location and online. The “See You Tomorrow” store will provide secondhand pieces from brands like Burberry, Thom Browne, Off-White, Adidas and Isabel Marant. The shop’s merchandise will come from the retailer’s returned and damaged product inventory.

Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s vice president of creative products, said that many of the merchant’s brands had an interest in testing out the resale concept. Kim said, according to one report, “So many Americans are already engaged with reCommerce, whether it’s rental or retail.” The resale service will provide customers with gift cards in exchange for their secondhand items.

Although the service is scheduled to run for half a year, it could last longer. Yerdle will work on the pricing, fulfillment, processing and cleaning of Nordstrom’s secondhand goods. The company currently works on resale for Patagonia, Eileen Fisher and other brands. The shop-in-shop concept puts Nordstrom up against The RealReal, the Vestiaire Collective and other firms.

In other news, Fabletics, which Kate Hudson co-founded, is enhancing its physical presence with a cloud-based enterprise retail platform called OmniSuite. The system combines order management, point of sale (POS) and eCommerce with back-office tech, with the goal of linking the online and in-store experience. Fabletics has grown to 38 North American locations since entering physical retail in 2015.

The OmniSuite platform enables the firm to offer personalized service with a full view of customer interactions and transactions across different channels. Fabletics customers can also buy offline or online without friction. The merchant enjoys other benefits from the platform, such as the ability to send personalized greetings to customers in fitting rooms via iPads. Fabletics can also monitor how its merchandise is moving in real time.

And 2020 has not been kind to retail stores around the nation, with the trend of accelerating store closings continuing into the new year. Papyrus, Express, JCPenney, Macy’s, Pier 1 Imports and other merchants have registered 1,218 closings so far this year, per Coresight Research data. Last year, 9,200 stores closed their doors.

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.

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