The shop that is not

Woolworths halfway virtual shop.

At a time when everything else in the world seems to be going 3D, Woolworths’ latest shop goes the other way; it is printed on a wall.

A corner of Town Hall Station is dominated by several huge posters depicting a variety of goods on supermarket shelves. You fire up your mobile app and point it at the bar codes beneath the pictures to generate an order. The order is then delivered to your home just as if you had ordered online.

This is an interesting idea. I must admit my first thought was that it’s a good gimmick but pointless, you can just order online anyway with a wider range and without having to stand around in the corner of a train station. After trying it out though, I did have a second thought. As an interface the big pictures on the wall were extremely easy to navigate and it took only a second to choose an item by pointing your phone at it. It was quite a satisfying experience. But then again, once I had done this a few times I think I’d be wanting my saved online lists for easy ordering – the pictures-on-the-wall experience, once the novelty has worn off, is probably too close to the old-fashioned approach to be really useful.

So all-in-all this is a really good bit of advertising for Woolworths online. It’s fun to try out for the novelty value. And I can see some potential use in the future in catching the eye of bored commuters, directing that eye to new items or items that are on sale, and having the items easily added to an online order.

Apparently the ‘shop’ wont be around for long so if you want to have a look do it quickly, before the shop really becomes a shop that is not.

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