Delivery platform Meituan opens smart store in Beijing

Jiong-Jiong Yu
Senior Retail Analyst

Date : 21 October 2020

The Tencent-backed retail services platform opened its first AI-powered shop in Beijing, China, on 14 October.

Integration of unmanned store and unmanned delivery

Situated in the Shougang business pilot zone in Beijing, Meituan’s MAI shop integrates an unmanned store with unmanned delivery using AI technology and robots.

The store sells a range of food from snacks and beverages to daily necessities. The service is available within a 3km radius from the shop, where customers can scan QR codes or use the app to place the order.

After the system receives the order, it will autonomously complete a series of processes such as picking, distribution, and packaging. Delivery is done using unmanned vehicles.

The customer can wait for the delivery at the corresponding site or pick up the order at the store. The average delivery time is 17 minutes.

Ability to control every step of the retail value chain

To achieve maximum efficiency and precision in decision making, the store’s software uses vast amount of data such as store location, time, weather, and traffic condition.

With a store space of 100 sqm, the MAI shop can send out 70% of the orders within 120 seconds, delivering as many as 200 orders per hour. Its picking efficiency is seven times that of the manual method, which in turn drives down the costs.

By integrating warehouse management, supply and distribution, Meituan is able to control every step of the retail value chain and removes the boundaries between the physical stores and the virtual platform. The new AI-powered Mai shop is expected to deliver great shopping experience through fast and reliable services.

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