The first robotic micro-retail store in Greece without personnel started its operation in Attica and specifically in the area of Nea Smyrni. The opening of the innovative i-mall Micro Market store took place this afternoon, with the founder and initiator of the project, Dimitris Karavasilis, speaking to journalists, emphasizing that the innovative idea came about after 3.5 years of recording and recording consumer habits, both in Europe, as well as in Asia and the USA, by the DK Consultants Group.
“The i-mall Micro Market encountered many difficulties in its implementation, however, thanks to persistence, patience and a continuous flow of funding, we managed to overcome all obstacles in order to create a new distribution channel and a new way of distribution for everyday products of use. i-mall Micro Market has incorporated all the latest technologies that save time for users, costs for entrepreneurs while at the same time offering a unique experience to the consumer. i-mall Micro Market is based on the win-win logic, “as long as I shop , that’s how much I earn”, that’s why it ultimately works in the interest of the final consumer”, pointed out D. Karavasilis.
The company’s development model is based on both franchising and the creation of other corporate stores. As mentioned, based on the company’s plan and signed contracts, the addition of up to 50 stores is expected by 2024 and 80 in total by 2026 in Greece. Accordingly, the development of the concept abroad has also been launched and more specifically, four countries outside the borders – France, Germany, Italy and Romania – are expected to be the first to adopt the i-mall Micro Market philosophy with investors participating in the Master Franchise of these countries.
“Our differentiation compared to the rest of the classic small retail stores is the emphasis we place on the experience the consumer has for as long as his visit to an i-mallMicroMarket store lasts,” said Giorgos Fasoulakis, commercial director of i- mall Micro Market, with many years of experience in corresponding positions such as Kiosky’s Convenience Stores and e-kiosky’s. He also added that the customer journey and loyalty program have been designed by the team of i-mall Micro Market and Warply in such a way that they work completely interactively with the consumer, making him a part of the i-mall for as long as the purchase lasts. of. “What we wish is for all those who visit us to primarily “buy” the i-mall experience and secondarily the products. In short, our goal is for our stores to be points of reference and meeting points for young and old, strengthening the socializing” he emphasized.
Yannis Doxaras, CEO of Warply, referring to the innovative store, emphasized: “Having launched multiple unattended retail solutions at an international level, we know firsthand the challenges that i-mall Micro Market’s technology and commercial model solves in an innovative way We are very happy about the cooperation as we have the possibility to implement truly innovative solutions for the first time at a global level”.
A guide for the i-mall Micro Market investment was the results of the primary research conducted by DK Marketing through its Greek and international presence. Through the valuable findings, it was concluded that the physi-digital experience can offer the greatest possible satisfaction to consumers by connecting the digital with the analog-physical world. Specifically, the age group that constitutes the target market of physi-digital is the Generations Z and Alpha category (ages 10-25), while ages between 12-18 are not in the mood to visit large retail stores for their daily habits. The research showed that in the post-COVID-19 era, 8 out of 10 consumers have a strong feeling of socializing, especially in “pocketparks”. Nine out of ten consumers who belong to the age group of 12-18, wish to adopt the “electronic wallet” over the traditional one. Also, transactions under 5 euros have increased by 60% with the use of electronic means of payment.
Using robotics and IoT (Internet of Things), i-mall Micro Market stands out for its advanced technology fully robotic systems. Orders are placed interactively via touchscreen or via the mobile app. The company’s upcoming plans include the pioneering mobile application which will be launched in the next 15 days. With a QR code that the consumer will receive from the App on his mobile phone while he is on his way to the store, he will be able to pick up his order easily, quickly and by earning loyalty points. In this direction, robotic stores will offer the possibility of personalized offers per consumer, a personalized customer reward program, automatic UV sterilization of all products before receipt. A very important role in the design has been played by the easy access and use of the store experience by people with special needs (PWD). The payment system was created by Warply in collaboration with Cardlink, using a new generation of self-service POS at the stores’ vending machines for card and wallet transactions. The company’s collaboration with Skroutz moves in the same direction, as the site hosts a pickup point, on a 24-hour basis without time restrictions. The musical experience has been taken over by Panik Entertainment Group through the continuous stream of PanikTV shown at i-mall Micro Marketstores.
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