Amazon just launched the grocery store of our dreams…that’s right, no checkout, no lines, no registers.
The e-commerce giant is dipping their toes into brick and mortar retail and offering a new customer experience experiment, and everyone is talking about it. Their new technology is currently being tested at a small grocery store in Seattle that allows shoppers to grab their favorite grocery items and then walk straight out the door.
I know what you’re thinking, how does that work?
How Does Amazon Go Work?
Amazon knows that grocery shopping is a hassle – so they have been working on a beautiful customer service solution. The system uses computer vision, sensors, and machine learning to accurately keep track of what items you pick up or even put back. After you have what you need, just walk out.
The QR code scanned as you walked in will automatically pay using your nominated credit or debit card. No cashiers, no lines, no hassle. It’s the ultimate form of convenience and self service. The new concept is called Amazon Go. Amazon says this system should be available to the public by 2017.
You can check out a YouTube promotion of Amazon Go below.
Destination? Up and Up
Remember the Amazon Dash? Dash is a one button service meant replenish items and have them ordered with the touch of a button. Although it might not have been one their most successful products, Amazon was definitely on the right track.
The ultimate goal seems to be making every need and action quicker, smoother, convenient, and hassle free. According to The Verge, this is only the beginning of new era for Amazon. The Verge reports plans for Amazon to “ultimately operate more than 2,000 grocery and convenience stores across the U.S. in a number of different formats.”
Amazon seems to be planning to become THE retail giant in the U.S., giving them a lot more control over the product path from warehouse to consumer, and giving retail giants like Target and Walmart a run for their money. Meanwhile we only have the convenience store becoming a reality.
Amazon may experiment with a drive-thru and a massive European-style discount chain. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon drive-thru’s are only weeks away, so maybe all this will be a reality very soon.
Thinking about it though, why did it take so long for this kind of initiative to be put into something like retail and convenience stores? Existing grocery stores and the like haven’t put enough focus on the convenience of their customers considering all the technology coming out daily.
Yes, we have some self-checkout machines, but that still means lines. It still means scanning every individual item. It still means slower and less convenient.
Work hard, have fun, make history
That’s Amazon’s slogan, and they are sure living up to it. Amazon is lucky to be able to break into the kind of system no one has put to use in this field because this is all overdue. All that is needed to get ahead is to be the first, and Amazon wins this round.
To really succeed, however, is to solve an issue that resonates with customers everywhere. Whether it’s-grab-and-go or getting the product sent to your home quickly, Amazon’s deep understanding of customer needs is fueling their ambitious path to the top. Clean and easy service, quick or instantaneous service, and convenience.
Other companies are sure to find ways to up their game in response, so Amazon certainly can’t let their guard down. However, if Amazon keeps pushing this hard, I can see a bright future for them and all of their customers. Amazon’s user base is sure to grow exponentially.