The technology world has been abuzz the last few days over the news that Amazon is planning to launch a brick-and-mortar shop project. The idea is that you can walk into a store, pick up the items you wish to purchase and walk out. No queueing, no checkouts, and pretty much no human interaction. So, is this the future of shopping?
It seems like a strange turn of events considering the impact online shopping has had on the high street. With so many traditional shops struggling and closing down due to the ever-growing need to compete with online stores, it seems odd that one of the biggest online retailers would choose to take to the high street.
However, while most sectors of the retail industry take to the web, there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of demand for the sales of food and general groceries online. Only 4% of food sales occurred online in 2015, showing that consumers would much rather buy instore. So, with this in mind, Amazon are taking advantage of the way people shop.
The first Amazon Go store is due to be opened to the general public in early 2017 in Seattle. The store is already up and running but is currently only open to Amazon employees, so we may have to wait a while before we see it come to the UK, but all goes well, we may see Amazon Go stores popping up all over the country in the next few years.
The concept is rather simple and seems to be an extension of much of the technology currently developing in the retail industry. With self-checkouts in just about every supermarket, automated shopping is evolving.
The technology world is intrigued. So far, Amazon are holding their cards close to their proverbial chest, so we don’t yet know exactly how this technology will work. At the moment, retailers are using certain technologies that allow them to track the way customers move around their stores, but the specificity required for the Amazon Go concept is not already in use. To be able to know exactly which products have been picked by a particular customer looks like an incredible challenge, especially when you consider the shopping habits of individuals. Shopping as a group and returning items to shelves present unique challenges, not to mention the sheer number of people that would be shopping all at once in the store. But, Amazon seems to be confident in their ability to overcome these potential issues.
Many of our clients are particularly invested in the future of shopping, both online and on the high street. Luckily for these clients, we, here at Q2Q- IT are experts in providing IT support for them, ensuring their business always runs smoothly. If you would like to find out more about how we can provide these services for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touchby calling 01524 581 690 for Lancaster or 01772 395 693 for Preston.