The Retail giant Alibaba has signed the deal to market electric vehicles made by Ford in China. They plan to use a gigantic vending machine to help facilitate sales. The customers will scan a car that they are interested in by using the Taobao shopping app that has been developed by Alibaba. They will then pick a color, enter some basic information and then take a photo of themselves.
The selfie will be used to identify the customer when they are to head over to the unmanned vending machine. The machine will be using Facial recognition technology to match the person with their specific orders, and the corresponding vehicle will them be taken out of storage.
The customers will then be given three days to test the vehicle to determine whether they want to make a purchase. Once they have made up their mind, they can go to the smartphone app to pay for the car, or to schedule to return the car and schedule another test drive.
Source: Youtube, Alibaba
Customers will be limited to five test periods every two months to make sure the system isn’t used as a free car hire service. The customers also need to qualify as an Alibaba Super Member, and must have reached a certain level on the company’s credit scoring service.
This is not the first time an automated machine is used for car dealership, it’s also not the first time Alibaba has sold vehicles. However, this innovation can lead to rolling out these vending machines on a larger scale in the future.
Alibaba plans to open two facilities in January 2018. One of them will be located in Shanghai, while the other is set for Nanjing. If this innovation will be a success, the company hopes to produce dozens more across China next year.