Amazon Go: Reinventing the brick-&-mortar shopping experience
No, it isn’t Amazon’s attempt to copy Niantic’s successful mobile game Pokemon Go. Although such a game might be on Jeff Bezos’s agenda, Amazon Go is a chain of cashier-less brick-&mortar stores that uses advanced shopping technology to completely change what we know about the physical shopping experience. Reported to be a ‘game changer for physical retail experience’ by RBC analyst Mark Mahaney, Amazon Go is all about efficiency.
The concept behind these stores is to remove the most tedious part of shopping in a brick-&-mortar business; the queues. This is done by focusing heavily on the speed and convenience of the walk out shopping experience. Although it might feel like stealing to begin with, Amazon Go’s Just Walk Out technology means exactly that; customers simply enter the store with the Amazon Go phone app, pick up what they want to buy and then leave with it. No queue and no waiting. In this sense, Amazon Go blurs the distinction between online and offline shopping. Customers can check-out with ease without waiting in a queue like they can online but they can also see, feel and touch products in person as one can in a physical store. The lack of online customers being able to see, touch and feel is something Amazon is all too aware of and have tried to negate with their Clicks & Mortar pop up shops. These shops are a chance for Amazon online sellers to let customers experience and buy their products in person. Amazon’s 1st UK Clicks & Mortar store recently opened in Manchester during June this year.
There are currently 12 Amazon Go stores all in the US however Amazon is reported to have their sights on opening 3,000 global Amazon Go stores by 2021. This will also include opening their first UK store in London, which is rumoured to be secured within Oxford Circus and will open later this year. After the success of Amazon Go, other major supermarket chains such as Tesco appear to be following Amazon’s example by attempting to create their own cashier-less technology in an attempt to adapt to the changing landscape of the high street.
Amazon Go is an innovation that makes a necessary chore convenient, quick and quirky. Although it seems like the thrill will run out eventually, the speed and convenience of Amazon Go will mean it will still remain a popular place to shop that might bring traditional brick-&-mortar to extinction if they don’t evolve too. We believe Amazon’s goal is to create the technology and then license it to other retailers. So your local Coop will be running the Amazon Go platform and Amazon will still be winning even though they’re not the retailer. If Just Walk Out technology becomes the norm for the high street it certainly wont be long before Amazon decides to bring their online marketplace back into brick-&-mortar locations and start advertising free same-second delivery for prime!