Today, Monday 22th, 2018, Amazon launched their state-of-the-art convenience store named Amazon Go, a project that Amazon has been working on for more than five years. In this post, I quickly breakdown, what I believe that we in the Payments, Retail and E-Commerce space can learn from this.
Create a Better Shopping Experience
While most articles that I have read today, focus on the Computer Vision and Machine Learning technologies that the store is equipped with, Amazon points out that they created this store to create a better shopping experience. Amazon has been known for developing products that are all about making shopping as easy and as frictionless as possible. Having dubbed the technology the “Just Walk Out Shopping Experience”, Amazon is basically doing what they did with 1-Click Payments, which is making the shopping experience as easy as possible. Customer’s don’t mind downloading an app, entering their card details, and in this case give up some of their privacy, if it leads to a better shopping experience.
Making Payments Less Frustrating
As part of that better shopping experience, Amazon identified that paying for the items is the most frustrating part for customers. Having to wait in line, while the person in front of you is searching in their pockets for their wallet, while you have to be at a meeting in five minutes, or dealing with a clerk who is getting trained or my personal favorite getting in a line, which is the shortest but moves the slowest, as people who join the other line are helped within seconds. By creating the “Just Walk Out Shopping Experience” Amazon Go, eliminates the frustrating Checkout, in the same way you shop on the Amazon.com website, when you have a Card-On-File.
Creating Omni-Channel 2.0
For many retailers and E-tailers, figuring out Omni-Channel has been the most challenging in the last couple of years. By making the Amazon App the central component of the shopping experience, you need it to check-in and when you walk-out you will receive your receipt and charge your account, Amazon is pushing the boundaries of Omni-Channel. Up until now, we have perceived Omni-Channel as E-Commerce moving into the Retail space and visa versa, by focussing on the pick-up or drop-off of the items you have ordered. The way that Amazon sees it, is by taking the best of both worlds to create a better shopping experience. Because you use your online presence, they are able to use the data of your online shopping experience, your offline shopping experience and many other data points, to truly provide you with a Shopper Experience like no other, which is very much inline with the research of Visa and Forrester on how to “Deliver the Shopping Experience of Tomorrow”.
But probably the most interesting expect of Amazon Go, is the fact that Amazon is experimenting to anwser the question:
What if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout?
Unlike many other retailers, who are trying to follow what others are doing, Amazon is willing to ask the question and actually experiment, making the Amazon Go already a success. They have been able to develop new Computer Vision and Machine Learning technologies, that they will be able to provide as a service to other retailers just like they have with the other technologies in the past.