BEIJING, China – CaixingGlobal.com reports that e-commerce firm Alibaba Group is extending its experiment with “smart” convenience stores to gas stations.
Per the news source, the company is planning to build an unstaffed gas station in Hangzhou by the end of this month, where a robotic arm will fuel vehicles. The station will also have an unstaffed convenience store, a model that Alibaba showcased in July, which allows customers to enter by scanning a QR code, pick up their merchandise and automatically pay at the checkout.
“It’s not about Alibaba wanting to open more cafes, we are not in the restaurant business...it’s about digitalizing the footprints of the visitors to an offline store,” Chris Tung, chief marketing officer of Alibaba Group, told Marketing-Interactive.com about the c-store concept.
The news source says that an updated version of the smart gas station will launch in 2018, where information about drivers and their vehicles, such car model and fuel type, will be automatically recognized.