For a period of time, the unmanned store was deemed to be the “next big thing” in technology. Chinese e-commerce giants such as Alibaba, Suning, and JD.com as well as Amazon in the United States have set up retail stores that are fully automated in major cities, equipped with various technologies such as electronic shelf label, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), computer vision, and facial recognition. According to ABI Research’s Smart Retail Market Data (MD-RET-102), published in October 2018, the total number of unmanned stores was forecasted to grow from 393 in 2019 to 44,138 in 2023 globally.
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