Looking at Amazon Go & The Future of Shopping

Ryan Clutter

Ryan Clutter

01/05/2017

Wouldn’t it be great if you could avoid the long lines at grocery stores? Even with self-checkout, we still deal with lines. Amazon has pioneered the effort for advanced shopping technology with Amazon Go.

As a shopper, just grab the items you want, which are automatically added to your cart, and go. Announced in December of 2016, it’s a cashier-less, convenient shopping experience tied to an Amazon Go app.

In beta testing for Amazon employees in Seattle, it is expected to open to the public and build additional stores in 2017.

According to Amazon, this is how it works.

“Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning.”

  • Activate and open the app.
  • Walk into the store through the turnstiles.
  • Take products off the shelf, and they are tracked in your virtual cart.
  • Replace items back onto the shelf, and they are removed from your cart.
  • When you have everything you need, just walk out.
  • Your account will be charged, and you’ll receive a receipt.

Is Amazon Go the future of shopping?

It’s the shopping experience we’ve been waiting for. For groceries, that is. Quickly in and out. We want something quick to eat during breakfast and lunch time. We want to pick up dinner or dairy on the way home.

Other industries that don’t carry the same necessity as groceries may someday incorporate this technology, but right now it isn’t a priority. We look at different clothing, gifts, and other items without the urgency we see with grocery and convenience store shoppers.

As we look at the future of shopping and Amazon Go, the program includes all the mobile technology we’ve come to rely on, taking it a step further.

The technology used allows Amazon to get a complete picture of your experience as a shopper. Brands can use the data to learn about their customers.

  • Which areas shoppers are drawn to when they walk into the store?
  • Gather insights about the items that are picked up and put back.
  • How customers walk throughout the store.
  • What items are skipped over?

That’s what makes Amazon Go have such special potential. This is what consumers really want. The convenience of picking up the pertinent groceries they need as quickly as possible.

Next Generation of Beacons

Think about beacon technology. Stores and marketers can reach customers with proximity beacons that deliver information to mobile devices in your store or nearby. The goal is to increase customer engagement, leading to sales and return shoppers.

With the data and insights gathered to learn more about customer habits and interests, Amazon can deliver coupons and special promotions to consumers as soon as they enter the store. Whether for a frequently purchased item or one that has been picked up and returned to the shelf before, customers may be propelled to make the purchase with a promotion delivered straight to the mobile app.

Through deep learning and a better view of shopper’s tendencies, beacons become all the more valuable.

While data on your tendencies, purchase history, and movement throughout a store may make some shoppers weary, it’s the big data and being monitored that makes our experiences more convenient.

Technology is improving and becoming more powerful. It’s time to embrace the change and allow technology to analyze your behavior to help deliver the best prices for the products you’re interested in.

What About the Complications?

With this type of technology, you’re going to run into problems. It’s currently available for Amazon employees who are most likely familiar with the tech. For everyday people and community members, how is this going to play out?

What if you’re shopping with your significant other or bring your child? If they haven’t opened the app and scanned it to get inside the store, what happens when they pick something up and add it your real cart as opposed to your virtual cart?

There will surely be a trial and error period and the kinks will have to be worked out.

Why Is Amazon Go Important?

As we move forward and technology continues to advance, it’s best to embrace it. It’s a mobile marketing world, driven by engagement on social media, but technology is becoming integrated into our daily lives and conversations.

The way we get through our day is being more and more assisted by machines. From digital assistants to smart home appliances, we’re always relying on our technology. This is the next step. As it’s brought to light and opened for the public, we’ll see shopping being transformed and watch as a seamless customer shopping experience is developed.

At our web design firm in Philadelphia, we’re keeping an eye on the latest trends and techniques. Amazon is already gathering data from its users, and its Go program is just another app that makes our lives easier.

Look for an Amazon Go store to open in 2017, and see if one is coming to a city or town near you.

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