Home / Make UP / Lotte Duty Free opens industry-first ‘Smart Store’ – featuring cutting-edge technology to minimise face-to-face contact – The Moodie Davitt Report
Lotte Duty Free opens industry-first 'Smart Store' – featuring cutting-edge technology to minimise face-to-face contact - The Moodie Davitt Report

Lotte Duty Free opens industry-first ‘Smart Store’ – featuring cutting-edge technology to minimise face-to-face contact – The Moodie Davitt Report

SOUTH KOREA. Lotte Duty Free, the country’s largest travel retailer and world number two, has opened the sector’s first ‘Smart Store’ – a hi-tech zone on the first floor of its flagship Myeong-dong store in Seoul.

The Smart Store, created over the past month in a redevelopment of the retailer’s Star Avenue Corner [Lotte Duty Free’s hallyu or Korean wave concept -Ed], minimises face-to-face contact and offers a fast and comfortable shopping environment.

“The Lotte Duty Free Smart Store is the first future store in the industry that enables a new digital experience,” said CEO Kap Lee. “Lotte Duty Free will continue to strive to provide such innovative shopping services in the future.”

When the customer sees a product they like, they scan the product-specific bar code to check product details, reviews, inventory quantities and other details and add it directly to their mobile cart

Lotte Duty Free said that the new zone features differentiated services from each brand, such as virtual make-up demonstrations.

Non-face-to-face shopping is expected to accelerate fast, said Lee, as he revealed the retailer’s push into advanced digital innovation technology.

Lotte Duty Free’s 520sq m Smart Store features a range of beauty products, including cosmetics, perfumes, and beauty devices. By applying digital technology to offline stores, the customer experience is enhanced, and face-to-face contact is minimised to create a fast and pleasant shopping environment without waiting, the retailer said.

Lotte Duty Free CEO Kap Lee: An industry first that enables a new digital experience.

Customers visiting the Smart Store first scan the QR code installed at the store entrance with their smartphone, thus allowing them to access a dedicated mobile cart. When the customer sees a product they like, they scan the product-specific bar code to check product details, reviews, inventory quantities and other details and add it directly to their mobile cart.

Once a customer is finished shopping, they simply show a QR code (unique to each transaction) and pay in a consolidated purchase.

The Smart Store technology caters for Korean and foreign customers. Mobile cart access QR codes can also be scanned with WeChat, China’s largest mobile messaging platform, and detailed product-specific information is available in four languages: Korean, English, Japanese and simplified Chinese.

In the smart store, leading global cosmetics brands such as SK-II, Shiseido and Estée Lauder enter the store and showcase differentiated digital shopping services by brand.

Bitti makes its debut in travel retail at the Lotte Duty Free Smart Store

SK-II, for example, offers an I-Magic Ring Bar that recommends products suitable for a customer’s skin through diagnosis based on five factors that determine skin age. Japanese beauty house Shiseido explains products through an LED screen in a ‘digital store’ that features lighting switched on according to the selected item.

Estée Lauder introduces a virtual makeup service based on augmented reality (AR) technology that makes it easy and fun for customers to find the lipstick they want, while a digital device, ‘Digital Shade Finder’, allows them to discover the colour that best matches individual skin tone.

It’s not simply about digital shopping services; a differentiated shopping experience is also provided. La Prairie Facial Cabin, a spa service room that provides skincare services from the ultra-premium Swiss skincare brand, features a beauty influencer who works as a Lotte Duty Free model.

‘Bitti’ which sells an array of curated products, enters the travel retail channel for the first time.

Through the opening of this Smart Store, Lotte Duty Free said that it expects to increase the convenience of customer shopping through “cutting-edgetechnology. It aims to spur a wave of transformation amid changing consumer sentiment driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company added.

Lotte Duty Free said that it plans to expand the concept to other offline stores at home and abroad.

Lotte’s leadership in digital technology

The Smart Store builds on Lotte Duty Free’s impressive track record  in digital innovation. As reported last May, the company introduced travel retail’s first electronic payment method, LDF Pay.

It also introduced the ‘Kakao Easy Subscription Service’, which allows customers using the popular messaging platform to sign up by scanning a QR code in-store.

Lotte Duty Free also embraced China’s largest payment service platform to introduce Alipay Smile to Pay, a recognition payment system, last October.

Alipay Smile to Pay technology was introduced at the Sulwhasoo boutique within Lotte’s flagship Myeong-dong store in late 2019

The retailer has also led the evolution of the travel retail shopping environment by introducing various services that combine cutting-edge technologies.

A notable example is L’Oréal’s virtual makeup service ModiFace, a new augmented reality try-on makeup service launched last December with L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific. At the time, the partners said it was the first online make-up try-on experience of its kind in Asia Pacific travel retail.

Influencers test out the ModiFace virtual makeup service at an event at Lotte Duty Free’s flagship downtown store in December