Amazon Go might be the future of shopping, for good.
Amazon started out as a humble online bookstore. Over the time it has spread its domain to Amazon Go comes from selling books to toys, furniture, jewelry, software and what not. Apart from that the company also focuses in e-commerce, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. It has over 40 subsidiaries including Audible, Whole Food Market, and Zappos. Amazon had been trying to penetrate into real life, brick and mortar retail shopping scene since a long time. For the same, it has started Amazon Go, a futuristic grocery shopping store.
The first Amazon Go opened in Seattle in 2016; and shopping has revolutionized ever since. Amazon Go is a store which requires no checkout. Amazon believes that it is the world’s most advanced shopping technology because of which one will never have to wait in line again (at least in their store). All the customer has to do to experience ‘Just Walk Out Shopping’ is use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the desired products, and go! The Amazon Go app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore.
Even the idea behind Amazon Go is revolutionary, which was to create a shopping experience with no lines or checkouts. The creators wanted to push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning and create a store where customers could simply take what they wanted and leave. Their answer to all these needs was Amazon Go, complemented with Just Walk Out Shopping.
How does Amazon Go function?
The store uses several cameras, sensors, machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide a friction less service. Technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When the customer is done shopping, he or she can simply just leave the store. A little later, Amazon sends a receipt and charges the customer from his or her Amazon account. Amazon Go is cashier-less but it does not mean that it is human less-store. There are multiple associates who work in the store.
What does Amazon Go sell?
A big question that revolves is what does Amazon Go really sell. No, it does not sell books or the things it sells on its amazon website. It sells grocery and ready to make food here. The things one consumes in daily life like breads to DIY food preparations that could be made withing 30 minutes.
Every possible entity has upsides and downsides. The same applies to Amazon Go as well.
Benefits of Amazon Go
- Amazon Go concept has addressed some of the concerns of the busy urban life, most notably, lack of time. or urban shoppers in need of a few essentials, is that these in-store struggles could become non-existent with Amazon Go’s unique in-store experience (or intentional lack of an in-store experience). Keeping in mind the frustrations of shopping , such as having to endure long, painfully slow checkout lines; Amazon Go is made 100% friction-free.
- Speed and convenience is very important to the customer. 86 percent of US consumers said that they leave a store due to long lines. As a result, they purchase from a different retailer or do not purchase at all.
- Amazon Go is essentially based on automation. Automation could help reduce staffing and thus decrease a lot of costs. On top of it, the company may even realize a higher number of average order values owning to increase in customer loyalty.
- Using AI also simplifies the retail process and allows to capture more sophisticated data that could be used by the company to better understand its customers. Amazon Go provides unique features like stating how much time did the customer spent shopping, or at what time did the customer buy a product. Several kinds of tangible data is provided which can be used to turn into information that can be later used to predict customer behavior. This can be used to boost sales or develop new products or services according to the customer’s needs.
- Amazon Go combines the convenience of online shopping with the satisfaction of shopping in a brick and mortar shop, that is shopping in real life.
- Shoplifting is no longer a viable option for many!
Cons of using Amazon Go
- In the era of ever decreasing human interactions, Amazon Go might reduce another sphere where human interaction was considered inevitable – grocery shopping. This is a paradoxical point. For some it is great for it saves time while for others, it is another opportunity lost to interact with humanity.
- All the processes of Amazon Go are driven by Artificial Intelligence. Shopping here means installing an app, getting QR code scanned and giving out bank account details. This is a lot of information to give out. Then there are always chances of data theft. Something that is on the rise these days. It will totally depend on how much privacy customers are willing to trade for convenience, value, security, and status.
- An instrumental element will be to guarantee that customer data is held securely and is used only for the things it is supposed to be used for. Countries round the world are hardening their data sharing and data storing policies as well. For instance, the strict GDPR policies.
It is only a matter of time before the Amazon Go becomes the new normal for shopping. Not only is Amazon opening up new Amazon Go stores, several other stores that are based on its model are popping up round the world. Over the time the technology used will become cheaper, reducing the fixed and maintenance costs of setting up and running the store. Over the time, the technology, security tools and the user experience will also mature and the model will invade the retail market. There will be plenty of luxury brands that still offer a personal touch, but for most retail experiences around the world, the future will be cashier-less.