ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation plans to commence its entry in the digital marketing field in April 2014 with the digital vending machine service G Hand, which uses large touch panel monitors and kiosk terminals. Marketing will focus on storefront retail businesses such as supermarkets and drug stores with sales expected to reach 2 billion yen in FY2015. Test marketing is implemented at supermarkets in the Tokyo area ahead of full-scale service launch.
In recent years, the market for large digital touch panel monitors has expanded, but the panels are not only used for advertising.
Next-generation vending machines that use large touch panels to approach customers are becoming increasingly common at train stations, commercial facilities and retail stores. The technology is also developing among customers.
G Hand uses large touch panel monitors and kiosk terminals to provide a shopping service that is as intuitive as using a vending machine. There is no need to boot up a PC or to log in to use the store terminals, which are easy to use even for older people who may not be accustomed to online shopping. Since the product shelves are virtual, urban stores with limited shelf space can display products without taking up space, and consumers who come to the store on foot or by bicycle can have their purchases of rice, drinking water and other heavy products delivered to their homes.
2. Service Outline
Select products by operating the touch panel digital signage installed in stores. After selecting the products, print the order slip at the adjacent kiosk terminal, and after paying for the product, take the slip to the service counter to arrange delivery.
3. Services provided by CTC
CTC provides the hardware including touch panel digital signage, PCs for content playback, and kiosk terminals for printing, develops and manages the interface content and applications, configures and monitors the transmission terminals, and manages the transmission schedules. The monthly service fees will be set after the completion of the test marketing that is currently underway. The product is mainly targeted at customers in the retail business.
For retail businesses, G Hand will create new market opportunities as they will be able to provide a new style of shopping to consumers without increasing sales area or staff cost.
4. Outline of test marketing
We are carrying out test marketing at supermarkets in Tokyo ahead of the service launch. In Phase 1, which started in November 2013, we are using terminals installed in stores to survey product category needs. In Phase 2, which is scheduled to run from January 15 to February 28, 2014, we will carry out genuine sales testing. The results of the Phase 1 survey will be reflected in the product lineup and the digital vending machine service will be used for sales and deliveries.
5. Future developments
CTC supports innovation in the retail sales format through IT services, and focuses sales on corporations with multi-store developments such as supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, gas stations, apparel stores and department stores. In the future, we will develop data usage services that contribute to expanding business earnings based on consumer buying behavior data.
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