Retail & POS Solutions

How wonderful! Shopping without waiting in the checkout queue

24.01.2018 08:47

On 22 January 2018, the Amazon Go supermarket became accessible to the public, making brick-and-mortar shopping even easier than online. There are no clicks, scrolling, banners, or passwords to remember. Just open the Amazon Go app in front of the store and start shopping.

Today, shoppers have a constant companion in hand when they enter stores – their smartphone. For retailers, smartphone apps are both a solution and a burden. They are a solution because they offer direct access to the customer's smartphone, and thus provide not only information but also networking and interaction opportunities, while the customer is in the shop and on the move. At the same time, they are a burden because many retailers have not yet figured out how to tap into the potential they offer.

How the Amazon Go app works in a supermarket

The selection is typical of a small supermarket's: a few important foods and toiletries, as well as snacks, breakfast ingredients, sandwiches, and salads.

After a shopper enters the supermarket, a series of cameras and other sensors in the ceiling tracks them through the store. When an item is taken off the shelf, the same cameras recognise this and add it to the visitor's virtual shopping cart. Ten minutes after the customer leaves the supermarket, the app charges the customer's credit card and issues a digital receipt.

We have created a short video overview of the Amazon Go app to highlight some key features: The new Amazon Go app is all about speed and convenience. Here, we take a closer look at it, introducing you to the features and analysing the impact on retail apps in general.

What does this mean for retailers?

After one year of internal testing, Amazon Go is now available to the public. Although this is a big step for Amazon, the solution is currently only available in a single supermarket in Seattle. The short-term effects will therefore be rather limited – which is good, as it gives other retailers across all industries time to develop solutions and services for their own apps.

It turns out that Amazon Go represents a major new competitive threat to traditional retailers. In particular, Amazon threatens the market share of retailers with slow-moving checkout queues.

Amazon has trumped traditional retailers many times before with new visions of how shopping should work. This may just be the next chapter in the story.

Our take at IQ mobile

This big step for Amazon equals a small step for the retail trade as a whole. It is clear that technology, algorithms, software, and mobile apps will permanently change the customer journey in retail over the next few years, however. We have already written about this here: https://www.iq-mobile.at/en/blog/customer-journey-in-retail/

Younger consumers, in particular, are placing entirely new demands on retailers. Learn more here (available only in German): https://www.iq-mobile.at/blog/wie-smart-natives-den-handel-fordern/

We have written two new blog entries concerning retail solutions. Find one here: https://www.iq-mobile.at/en/blog/new-methods-in-retail/

Be sure to check out this entry, which focuses specifically on beacons here: https://www.iq-mobile.at/en/blog/beacons-boosting-pos-power/

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