KOCHI:With an aim to do away with the inconveniences of present-day shopping, a Kochi-based startup is set to launch an automated live store called watasale.Based on the concept of Amazon Go stores in the US, watasale will make use of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, deep learning, and sensor fusion to provide the customers with a hassle-free shopping experience.
“It’s very simple,” said Rajesh Malamal, CMO of watasale. “All the customer has to do is open the watasale app, swipe the QR code at the gates to enter the store. Once inside, she can choose her required product and walk out. The bill will be automatically deducted from the customer’s account,” said Rajesh.
An automated store has a lot of positive aspects. “It can remain open 24x7. Service executives can be shifted out from monotonous front office jobs to work on verticals like customer satisfaction.
“Unprecedented data is available to give complete insights on store inventory. Stock and stock outs get updated instantly. Customers know whether the product she wants is available even before walking into the store. Customers need not park their bags outside the store. And no shoplifting is possible,” said Rajesh. The watasale concept can be used in retailing any product ranging from ice-creams to packed items, he added.
According to Rajesh, such stores don’t need large spaces. “The idea is to have micro-versions of watasale stores in every location like apartments, housing areas, work places and transit areas. It is basically a total revamp of the existing vending machines. These micro-stores can be placed at any location and the customers can use it at any time of the day. It can be used for providing shopping locations for groceries, daily essentials, food items inside apartments and housing areas,” he added.
He said the entire technology including the designs, software, hardware components and structural work has been done entirely by the company’s in-house team.The shop, located in Gold Souk mall, will throw open its doors to customers on Friday.