Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Suning launches its smart retail ‘Biu’ store to global markets

Suning, second largest of China’s top non-state-owned enterprises, has showcased its unmanned, automated ‘Biu’ store at CES 2018.

Suning’s ‘Biu’ store concept is big-data driven and powered by Facial Recognition and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), bringing together the company’s experience and technology applications in “O2O” retail.

Since launching its first self-service store in Nanjing in August 2017, Suning has unveiled a further four cashier-less stores in China, with new stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Xuzhou, along with the inaugural store, proving a huge success with consumers, claims the company.

Mr Joshua Xiang, Executive Vice President of R&D of Suning Commerce Group and the General Manager of Suning Global Research, said: “Suning’s Biu store concept showcases the latest in our online-to-offline (“O2O”) retail strategy, designed to offer consumers a one-stop seamless shopping experience. We’re thrilled to be bringing it to CES 2018.”

The Biu stores feature Facial Recognition, meaning any shopper linking their bank card to the Suning Finance app is immediately identified by camera at the entrance and granted access to the store.

Inside, equipped with Suning Smart Recommendation, the shopping guide system based on big-data analysis, the stores are able to help customers make purchasing decisions in an easier way.

RFID technology then means products need only be carried along the payment pathway, resulting in an effortless check-out experience taking no longer than 15 seconds, simpler and faster than most existing self-service retail practices.

At CES, Suning  also  showcased its e-commerce services and tech products which are focused on enhancing the consumer experience.

These include the ‘Smart Sue’ shopping assistant, with voice and text interaction system; Suning’s Anywhere AR shopping experience, allowing shoppers to place virtual products into a real scene; Suning Smart Home, incorporating advanced Internet of Things automation systems to control electronic home appliances and functions of the building; Smart retail chain solutions; and Suning’s own logistics and shopping financial services.