Woolworth’s new “virtual supermarkets” in Sydney and Melbourne

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st February 2012

Woolworths today unveiled its “virtual supermarkets” at Flinders Street Station in the Melbourne CBD and at Town Hall Station in central Sydney.

The “virtual supermarkets” are billboards which display images of real supermarket shelves with grocery items. The new wall follows the launch of Woolworths’ new mobile shopping App earlier this week.

Shoppers in Melbourne and Sydney can now purchase Woolworth grocery products by scanning the barcodes on the billboards with their smartphones. The barcodes then take users to Woolworths’ mobile app where the store’s full range of products can be purchased and delivered to shoppers within hours for a delivery fee.

The Woolworths App is available to iPhone and Android customers and is free to download.

On November 24, 2011 Australian Food News reported that the popularity of smartphone shopping is changing retail horizons. The “virtual supermarkets” is the latest move by supermarket giant Woolworths to gain a foothold in this growing market of online-shopping.

A virtual grocery store was launched by British grocery giant Tesco in South Korea on 25 August 2011. Other food retailers in Australia and Netherlands have launched virtual stores in the past month.

Australia’s smartphone boom

We reported in September 2011 a study by Google, in partnership with research company IPSOS, that revealed Australia has the second highest smartphone penetration in the world with 37 per cent of Australians owning a smartphone. Smartphone users in Australia have an average of 25 apps, eight of which are paid for. In contrast, smartphone users in the USA and Britain have an average of 23 apps.

The study also claims that by the end of 2011, fifty per cent of Australians will have a smartphone.