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Amazon Go Stores

  • With the Just Walk Out technology, AI will become an integral part of offline shopping

Amazon has just announced the debut of Amazon Go. It is a chain of grocery stores that could change the way we shop offline. It is something completely different from what we are used to live our shopping experience.

"No lines, no checkouts, no registers": here is the slogan used by the online retail giant to introduce their new concept store, which will allow its customers to come in, grab the items they want to buy and go without pulling out your wallet, so that they can avoid checkout lines.

Just Walk Out technology is based on the use of the Amazon Go app you will be able to communicate with the store sensors. At the entrance of the store, customers must scan the QR code generated from the app on your smartphone; this will allow the operating system to follow the purchasing process by updating the shopping cart of the customer whose Amazon account will be automatically charged once they get out of the store. Although details on the detection technology of mobile items have not been revealed yet, we know that for self-driving car technology, computer vision and deep learning technologies have been used.

Amazon Go will sell local and popular brands products, basic groceries, as well as Meal Kits containing all the ingredients to prepare a quick meal at home, or meals cooked on the spot by the on-site chefs. That means both supermarkets, convenience stores and small grocery stores and take-away restaurants will have to cope with competitive pressure.

The first Amazon Go store was opened in Seattle and is currently being tested, currently only Amazon employees are allowed to shop. The public opening in the company’s hometown is planned at the beginning of 2017. After the experience of Amazon Fresh, an online shopping service with home delivery, Amazon Go is the acknowledgment that the sale of fresh products is still an old-school business. People want to be able to touch the product that they're going to buy and often they want it immediately, says Brandan Witcher analyst at Forrester.

Do not forget that the Amazon Go technology has been designed to keep track of all the moves of the clients and then simultaneously proceed with collection data, on which they will be able to plan the following online marketing strategies.

The concept of cashier-less store raises some spontaneous reflections. The first is related to the impact it will have on the labor market; Amazon in this way ensures that the goal is not to cut on the cost of the labor force, the use of which will be optimized in the arrangement of items within the space of sale and customer care. The second one concerns the influence that the new store prototype based on digital technology will have on the current retail model. Regardless of our opinion, there is no doubt that the test made by Amazon is noteworthy. If successful, we will see a more systematic and deeper penetration of more sophisticated artificial intelligence in our daily lives; all thanks to the adoption of a digital approach to the real world.

Moreover, the rate of evolution of consumer behavior is due largely to the increasing development of consumer technologies. It is normal to be able to survive, even the retail offline must be redefined with a crosschannel approach in which the boundaries between real and virtual, offline and online are increasingly blurred.

Nowadays we are witnessing an expansion of digital companies in traditionally offline areas. Through the intersection of opportunities offered by new technologies, this process is externally easier for digital native companies. On the contrary, for companies with a traditional and offline business, the processes of change of their business model towards a digital reality is much more complex because too different from the mentality and the established habits.

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