Invent tomorrow’s Business: Grupo Éxito unveils Carulla SmartMarket, an innovation lab in Colombia

This week, Grupo Éxito inaugurated its first Carulla SmartMarket shop in Bogotá (Colombia). More than a Business, it’s the first “innovation lab” dedicated to retail in Colombia, and it combines both on-site and online retail.

New technologies (robotization, artificial intelligence, enhanced reality, facial recognition…) are good opportunities to seize in order to continue fulfilling efficiently the growing expectations of consumers. More services, more digital and more pleasure in the purchasing experience. To offer this level of service to consumers, it’s necessary to innovate constantly to create tomorrow’s business landscape.

Grupo Éxito unveiled this week its first Carulla SmartMarket shop, in the streets of Bogotá. It’s the result of eight months of research and development by our teams in Colombia, to give birth to this “innovation lab” presenting around twenty types of new technologies.

A few examples :

  • Check & Go: customers can pay for their shopping without getting any money out. They just have to scan the QR codes of the products with the Carulla SmartMarket mobile app so the purchases can be invoiced directly.
  • Paga conmigo (pay with me): customers can pay for their shopping everywhere in store, via a tablet with one of the store assistants.
  • Smile ID: when entering the store, customers can be identified via facial recognition, to accelerate and improve the payment flow for their shopping.
  • Electronic Labels: all product labels are now electronic, which means stocks remain updated.
  • 3D Sales circuit: to avoid wasting time trying to find products, customers can see on a screen the fastest itinerary in order to find missing products.
  • E-sommelier: by scanning the label of a bottle of wine, customers can obtain all product information instantly.
  • Enhanced reality: thanks to QR Code technology, customers can interact with hundreds of products, to get to know their origin, obtain nutritional information and practical recipes.
  • Ready to Go: with this functionality, customers can order the products they want and set a collection time at which they can come to pick them up.

Customers can also enjoy the help of a virtual assistant if necessary, an eating area, a relaxing space (with music, phone chargers, media access, fast booking for partner services (car valet, housekeeping, laundry…), and a key-dropping service for the home. Lockers for online orders are also available.

“Carulla SmartMarket was designed and developed to improve the lives of our customers, without de-humanizing their in-store experience. This store has become the first lab for «intelligent business” in Colombia, which combines both on-site and online retail” — Carlos Mario Giraldo, president of Grupo Éxito

Beyond these innovation technologies, Grupo Éxito promotes an environmentally-friendly attitude by not giving out plasting bags in its stores and not using plastic packaging in the fruit and veg area. For products which require packaging, it is consistently biodegradable.