22 Jan, 2018

How Will Amazon’s Cashierless Store Change Retail?


Photo was taken from CNET.com

Today marked a big day in retail history. To no surprise, Amazon was the disruptive force to make this day possible. Today marks the day of the first cashierless store to be open to the public.

Amazon has been itching to debut this store to the public for quite some time now since it has been open for a year to Amazon employees in Seattle, underneath Amazon’s headquarters.

How It Works

Before I dove into this topic, it took me a few articles to research just exactly a cashierless store means. Long behold, it means exactly what the words say. It is a transaction that requires no physical payment methods to be disrupted to workers of the store, you know, like a normal shopping experience.

Instead, all you need is a regular Amazon account and the Amazon Go app. Of course, living in Seattle will be most beneficial, since this store so far is only found there. (Does anyone want to take a trip?) 

So far you have learned that Amazon requires only two things to be able to interact with this cashierless store experience, a basic Amazon account, and the app. It’s pretty simple and that is exactly the point. This whole concept was created by Amazon with the idea in mind to make the lives of customers more convenient and simple. By scanning your app, sensors driven by the same technology as self-driving cars, register that you are actually in the store, then your Amazon account is charged depending on what you buy.

No Lines, No Problem

The cashierless store that Amazon has created was inspired by the fact that most customers have one thing in common, they hate waiting on lines.

“Retailers could have and should have been pursuing this all along,” Forrester analyst Brendan Witcher said. “No retail customer in the history of shopping has ever said, ‘I want to wait in line for 15 minutes,” CNet reports. 

Once you find a product you are interested in purchasing, you only have to go through this process, grab your item and walk out. Not once did you wait in line, fumble around looking for a change, or even interact with another human being, unless you’re the friendly shopping type, which in that case, this store may not be for you.

The only time human interaction is required is if you are interested in buying alcoholic beverages, where you will find someone to check your ID. Then, you can walk out as you would with any other item.

In other words, the cashierless store is really just easy, which puts an entirely new spin on retail. It is really no surprise that customers are really into the whole easy, convenient thing. Think about all of the mobile apps that retailers have created in order to target this kind of customer. They have been a hit, and consumers tend to gravitate towards brands who offer this feature.

So, are cashierless transactions the future? Depending on the success of this store, the answer may be yes, and in which case, has the potential to not only change the retail industry but also the employment status of many people.

We will have our eyes peeled on what is to come for Amazon and consumers everywhere. In the meantime, you may want to take a trip to Seattle to check out what the future of shopping may be. Don’t forget to report back!


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