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HEMA defines New Retail: Retail Innovation of the Year

Hema, the next generation retail experience and brainchild of Alibaba, is a supermarket hybrid that operates on cutting-edge innovations. Serving as both a retail store and fulfillment center for online shopping, Hema brings convenience to new heights by offering in-store picking for online purchases, with delivery in 30 minutes for customers within a three-kilometer radius of the store.

Hema uses its mobile app to track everything customers do in the store. Where they are shopping, what they are picking, what they are buying and how they are paying. They use this data to create and deliver customized shopping experiences.

Why is it innovative?

  • Integrated retail store and fulfillment center – streamlined operations while maintaining, and improving, the overall customer experience within the supermarket
  • Redefining convenience and the term “one-stop” shop. Not only can customers buy fresh produce and seafood, they can also dine-in at the store and have their meals cooked after shopping is complete. This concept brings customers back into the store repeatedly, creating stickiness in customer loyalty.
  • Active customer engagement and mobile integration with the shopping experience. Customers can use their mobile devices and scan the items they want to buy when they are in-store. Via the mobile apps, the store can provide recommendations and suggestions to the customer to guide selection among other similar options. Each of these selections can be placed in the virtual shopping cart and e-payment and delivery of their groceries to a consumer’s home within 30 minutes can be arranged.

To learn more about HEMA and other innovative concepts around the world, download a copy of this year’s book here.

By Alex Kaufmann


McMillanDoolittle is a premier international retail consultancy bringing deep experience with world class clients. Our partners have extensive experience interpreting the retail marketplace and converting insights into successful strategies. We help clients develop innovative solutions in strategy development, the customer experience, new concepts, brand performance, retail performance improvement and retail intelligence services.

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