No More Check Out: Cashless Payment Evolves with Amazon Go
Amazon is one of the leading online stores in the world, and it has revolutionized the way shopping is done. The retail giant sells almost anything that you would want to buy, from books and CDs to audio equipment, computers and cameras, and a lot more. Apart from redefining ecommerce, Amazon is now also trying to change the face of the check out counter. The latest innovation is called Amazon Go and it is a store without a checkout counter.
You Go In and You Go Out
The first Amazon Go store is in Seattle, Washington. This is a brick-and-mortar store for those who want to do their shopping in person. It is more of a test of the feasibility of the store. If all goes well, Amazon is expected to put up more stores.
Before going to the store, the first thing that a shopper needs to do is to install the Amazon Go app on their smartphone. This is their key to entering the store. Without the Amazon Go app, users would not be able to enter or buy anything.
This Amazon Go app is not just a key or a passport to getting into the store, but is also the payment gateway for purchases. You pick up an item and put it into your bag, and the app would also add the item to your purchases. As you go along buying more items, putting back things you would not want to buy, the app follows suit and rings up a running total.
When you are through shopping, you head for the exit and leave. Along the way, your purchases have been added and the payment debited from your preferred payment method.
There are no check out lines, there are no cash registers. There is a virtual tape summary of your purchases which you would have to check on your app. Anything that you have in your bag when you leave are included in the purchases.
On the Shelves
Besides the novelty of having no check out lines, there are also the items themselves which should entice the user to buy from the store. According to Amazon, the selection of grocery items range from staples to artisanal cheese and locally made chocolates. Well-known and well-loved brands are also included plus special promotional items which Amazon would want to introduce to its customers. The store will stock items which any supermarket buyer would expect, including some premium grocery items which Amazon believes would be picked up by buyers.
In short, they would be competing as a high-tech supermarket.
Amazon Go Advantages
This will benefit a wide range of buyers. For those who are in a hurry, they would be able to get a single item from the shelf, or just a small basket of items, and then leave the store as soon as he is finished. Sales could be as fast as just going in and out the store.
For those who want to take their time buying things, they do not have to worry about the checkout line. As soon as they are inside the store, they pick up groceries, liquor, fresh produce and walk on down the line. They can comparison shop between different brands and different sizes. These buyers do not have to worry about going fast because their purchases are being tallied as they go.
Those who have large purchases would also benefit. Big carts of groceries can take some time to check out. In this store, there is no check out line, and no more time spent on the cash register tallying up the purchases and paying for them. This will also benefit those who detest being behind persons with large purchases. No matter how many items you purchase and put in your bag, they all spend the same time at the cash register: no time at all.
If this experiment proves successful, Amazon would have to ramp up their in-store tech in order to be able to read all the items and purchases in real-time. However, it would also mean faster turnover of in-store buyers and goods on the shelves.