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A young woman shops at Seoul's Seolleung station, using her smartphone

Discussion:  In South Korea, shoppers can now go grocery shopping with their smartphones while they wait for the subway.  With Homeplus’s new virtual shopping center, customers can order groceries by scanning bar codes with their smartphone.  The goods are then delivered to their front door, without the purchaser ever having stepped foot in a grocery store.  In South Korea, the convenience and ease of the virtual store has yet to catch on because customers cannot see the goods before purchase, and because culturally, shopping is generally a time that people enjoy.

Source:  BBC News

Date:  October 20, 2011


Discussion Questions:

  • In you opinion, does the drawback of not being able to touch the tangible goods for sale outweigh the benefit of the virtual shopping center?  Or, is not being able to touch the product before purchase a forgettable fact when compared to the additional convenience?
  • Should customers be able to return perishable goods if they do not meet their satisfaction?

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