Retailers Play Catch Up On Frictionless Shopping
In 2018 Amazon launched an ambitious plan to open 3,000 Amazon Go stores throughout the US. These are the cashierless stores where customers can just walk out after shopping and have their Amazon Prime account billed for everything they take with them.
The broader term for this use of retail tech is “Frictionless Shopping”. Simply put, make it easier to complete a purchase in as few steps as possible. Amazon Prime and others’ delivery to your door is the literal embodiment of this. But for every purchase made online we’re still making 10+ trips to the store. That’s why more retailers are testing pick and go technology right now. European grocer Tesco is using ceiling mounted cameras to track what customers grab off the shelf and charge them as they head out the door. Kroger is beta testing a checkout scanner shoppers can walk through with their shopping carts which can scan the UPC codes of any item they take with them.
It will probably take the better part of a decade to see this new retail technology mainstream. But it’s a safe bet that tomorrow’s in-store shopping experience will look radically different than what we’re used to right now.