Consumer Staples Author: Yue Liu Editor: Luke Sheehan Oct 15, 2020 06:15 PM (GMT+8)

MAI is a new retail system from Meituan centered entirely on AI that has been mainly applied in supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, 3C retail and other scenarios. MAI Shop is a foray into wholly AI-focused stores.

Image credit: EqualOcean

On October 13, Meituan unveiled its first AI smart store, MAI Shop, and launched an autonomous delivery vehicle at the same time. After users place an order on the WeChat applet, the MAI Shop system will process the order and complete the order through automatic picking, packaging and AGV distribution. Users can wait for the delivery at the designated site or pick it up at the MAI Shop.

During the National Day holiday, the average delivery time for the first trial operation was 17 minutes, and 95% of orders were completed by autonomous delivery vehicles without security officers. This technique may solve three significant problems. One is to break the bottleneck of production efficiency. For manual sorting, each person can sort about 60 to 120 orders per day and sort 300 to 600 items, which has reached the limit, but it is far from meeting business needs.

Second, improving delivery speed and quality, which refers to the time from the start of automatic order acceptance to the completion of sorting and the degree of product matching. The data shows that 30% of poorly reviewed orders are caused by manual sorting's uneven quality, such as wrong item choices and failure to retrieve a product.

Third, reduction of sorting costs. The industry average is generally around CNY 1.5 to 4. MAI Shops may solve this problem by completing the order through the AI ​​scheduling platform's automated hardware.

This mobile smart store, consisting of AI-powered stores, autonomous delivery vehicles and delivery sites, is likely to re-arrange people, goods and places through technological means to give new retail solutions.