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The Rejirobo wants to scan and pack purchases at the cash register

After the launch of Amazon Go the Rejirobo is the next big development for retail in a short time.

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Rejirobo
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The Japanese trading chain Lawson is known for its experiments and innovations. Now they are unveiling a checkout robot, which scans and packs groceries on its own. After the launch of Amazon Go, the Rejirobo is the next big development for retail in a short time.

As early as 2009, Lawson started to offer charging stations for electric vehicles in its car parks, which is likely conncected to Mitsubishi’s participation in the company. Now the company is again experimenting, this time with self-service kits.  Now, their new invention: cash registers that scan and pack on their own.

Together with Panasonic, Lawson has developed the Rejirobo. “Reji” means “cash register.” To be able to use Rejirobo, the customer must use a shopping basket with an integrated scanner. In this way, he simply scans every product he places in the shopping basket.

Rejirobo: From February 2017 also with RFID chip

At checkout, the customer places the shopping cart in the appropriate device. After the payment process via touch-screen, the basket folds downwards and the products slide into a shopping bag. Whether this brings a really significant speed advantage at the cash register in the end, may be doubted – at least as the system is currently working. Also, it is important to consider the decrease in employment the robot might cause., as the magazine Asiaspiegel.ch reports.

Starting in February, Lawson is also taking a very sensible step in the project: according to the press release from Panasonic (here Google-Translate), RFID chips will be put directly on the products to allow Rejirobo to also take over the scanning process. This would make it harder to override the system. The system is to start running in 2018 in the majority of Lawson stores.

The Rejirobo of Lawson and Panasonic is not quite as stylish as Amazon Go, where there are no cash registers. But the project shows quite well how technological developments will continue to change the retail sector.

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It is not always easy to keep a company’s website up to date, to constantly add and update content. With Juicer, it’s now child’s play! (more…)

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PS: I Love You – Hotmail’s Growth Hack

When the Hotmail e-mail service was founded on 4 July 1996, nobody knew the term “growth hacking”. Nevertheless, the ingenious marketing ploy of Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith goes down in history as the first growth hack.

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It was the American Independence Day in 1996 – a deliberately chosen day. Developers Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith released their free email service Hotmail that day.

After a little more than 20 days – at the end of July, 1996 – the service was already being used by 20,000 users of the still young Internet. A respectable success, but the two founders wanted more.

The first growth hack in history

And so Smith and Bhatia discussed things with their investors. The discussion focused on the question of how the company could quickly get new users without a significant marketing budget.

The result of the brainstorming was a single line at the end of each e-mail sent via Hotmail:”PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.” This is reported by author Adam L. Penenberg in his book* Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter; How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves.

If you clicked on the blue “Hotmail” link, you were redirected to a registration page. There, you would receive all the relevant information on Hotmail’s offer. In addition, you were given the opportunity to create your own free e-mail account immediately. (That wasn’t standard at that time.)

Microsoft pays 12 million US dollars

Even though nobody knew the term “growth hack” in 1996, it was exactly what the Hotmail founders had succeeded in doing. With a simple trick, the company generated several million users – without having to place an ad.

While Hotmail took six months to break the 1 million-user barrier, the company reached the second million just five weeks later. When Microsoft took over Hotmail for 400 million US dollars just under a year later, the service already had 12 million users. At the turn of the millennium, there were 65 million users.

Today, Hotmail no longer exists. Since 2013, Microsoft has been promoting the first growth hack in history under the name Outlook, which has now spread to millions of computers and smartphones.

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