From Clicks To Bricks – Amazon Go Is Here (well, in Seattle)
Photos: Cnet, NYTimes, Quora, Business Inside UK
“What we always came back to was people don’t like waiting in line” – Dilip Kumar, Amazon Go technology chief
Today is a big leap for the future of retail; the first Amazon Go convenience store opened to the public in Seattle and shopping is even easier than online.
Yup, just when we thought it couldn’t get any easier, gone are tedious clicking or scrolling, annoying banner ads or forgetting your password, not even 1-click is necessary. Simply present the Amazon Go app at the gates and shop. Genius. No bottle necks as we all try to checkout at the same time, this is not even self-serve, it’s literally pick your goods and walkout.
How? Well, those super clever Amazon tech bods have designed a system of cameras and other sensors in the ceiling that track your progress around the store. As items are picked up they are recognised by the cameras and added to your virtual shopping cart. Ten minutes after you leave the store the app charges a credit card and provides a digital receipt. Simples.
Amazon has made a big push into bricks and mortar retailing in the past couple of years with 10+ bookstores in the US and the acquisition of high-end supermarket Whole Foods. A really interesting direction given online is super convenient, but you know they mean business when they’ve just advertised for a ‘Strategic Real Estate Manager’ to conduct field tours of potential locations for Amazon Go.
According to Business Insider UK “Internal company plans show Amazon could build 2,000 grocery stores across the US in the next decade”, with initial plans to operate a “20-location pilot program by the end of 2018” expected to included Las Vegas, New York and Miami. This pilot operation will include variants on the Amazon Go concept including; drive-thru, click & collect and traditional shopping with a trolley, from which to gauge consumer experience and market drivers that will influence the eventual format.
Exciting and futuristic, but the implications for checkout staff is clear, especially as this is the second most common job in the US. The writing’s on the wall.