After conducting a test with 10,000 employees at its headquarters in Beijina, Chinese web retailer JD.com is planning to open hundreds of unmanned stores.
In place of staff, the stores will rely heavily on technology, such as cameras and facial recognition technology, which will be used to eliminate checkout lines, as well as provide custom promotions and advertisements. Heat maps will be used to monitor the flow of activity within a space, making it easier on the operators to efficiently stock products based on customer preferences.
In the future, JD.com has plans to license the technology it has developed to other third-party retailers. As Song Ma, the vice president of JD.com describes: "From helping small stores' owners streamline their supply chains and increase stocking efficiency, to speeding up check out, this is a massive jump beyond anything in use today." Outside of the retail store, the online retailer also has plans to implement autonomous vehicles for home deliveries.