Amazon Go is LIVE. So way back in another Mashup I introduced you to the concept store called Amazon Go – Amazon’s cashier-less, checkout-less, pick, pack and Go store of the future. Well now it’s live in Seattle, and the only lines are those outside the store with people waiting to try this new retail innovation. If you’ve ever used a self-serve technology like in the Apple Store – it kinda feels like shoplifting, as you literally pick things from the shelf, scan with your phone (no need for interaction with store employees), and off you go.
With Amazon Go, you don’t even need to go this far. Scanners all over the ceilings connect with the Amazon App (which you’ve downloaded and linked to your favourite payment method). You simply fill up your shopping bag and walk out of the store – no carts (don’t need them), no baskets (don’t need them), no cashiers (don’t need them). That last one hurts, as with 3.5 million cashiers in the U.S. alone, this could mean a lot of people out of work. There are some proposals to repurpose these types of roles, but realistically this is a pipe dream.
So, you can see where this is going – right? Amazon has just pioneered (and you’ve gotta know they have it well patented) a technology that makes cashiers and automated checkout machines redundant. So what’s a retailer to do? How do they keep pace with Amazon? And just like Amazon Web Services, retailers will be knocking on Amazon’s door to replace the massive technology buys Amazon has just made obsolete – as Amazon will simply do it better. And, retailers can’t just BE like Amazon, as Amazon owns a ridiculous stranglehold on data (including a gateway drug called Prime, and buying power matched with logistics that are off the charts). The only retailer holding their own right now is Walmart.
So how do you compete? Just remember – we’re human. We like human-to-human connections. We want personal experiences. We value exchanging key knowledge. So build out amazing retail experiences that people love to explore, hire knowledgeable retail associates who love to help people, and make your customers feel appreciated and in-the-know. The magic will follow.
Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications