The Future Of Supermarkets

Waiting at the Check-Out? That’s all past now.

Amazon just introduced Amazon Go – a concept store in Seattle where Amazon employees (and soon customers) can buy groceries and snacks in a local store without the need to pay at a checkout desk. You simply walk into the store with your smartphone and your Amazon app and all items are added to your virtual cart automatically. As soon as you leave the store your Amazon account will be charged.

Standing in the checkout lane I have always asked myself why the don’t implement a faster and more secure solution. I thought about 3D fencing a magnetic field which detects every single product in the cart, bag, or on your body within seconds. This would avoid the unpacking of the cart at the checkout. You would just need to pay. Or in the example of Amazon Go: Do nothing.

This is not only happening in our imagination but real companies – like Amazon – are working on creating a hassle free shopping experience.

The Future Of Retail

Amazon Go shows us exactly where the future of retails lays. Supermarkets without checkout lines. Where you don’t need to unpack your items, don’t need to swipe a card or pay by cash. Stores, where unavailable items will be delivered to your home within hours and minutes. This is a more efficient shopping experience for everyone while retailers will see a boost in sales as they can process payments much faster. (Think about it: How often did you decide not to buy something because the checkout lane was too long? At least a few times.)

Already last year Toshiba presented a self-checkout concept called “Touchless Commerce“. It uses 3D and facial recognition technologies to scan your cart and your face within seconds. You can leave the store and your credit card is charged automatically. Along with this shopping experience is coming for sure a cut in privacy. But if we look at customer loyalty programs like Payback in Germany I think the data we need to give up for new technologies is not more sensible than what is collected already today.

And what about automated baskets?

My personal favorite vision for grocery shopping is to just pick it up. Amazon’s recommendations are oftentimes that good that they could – in correspondence with Amazon Echo – create your personal shopping cart within seconds. You just confirm it and pick it up at the Amazon Go store within the next hour. Easy? Easy!

What do you think about the future of retail? Are you annoyed of the current checkout system and checkout lanes? Let me know if you like the new Amazon Go concept! Leave a comment and I’ll join the discussion.

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