recentpopularlog in

Amazon_Go

No lines, no registers, no fun: Amazon Go’s sterile future - The Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH RENZETTI

there's only one Amazon Go, located in the bottom of the company's Seattle headquarters, but you can bet more are on their way – especially since Amazon now owns the retail chain Whole Foods. The expansion of a chain of cashierless stores, whose shelves will one day likely be stocked by robots, raises many good questions about what kind of work we value and want for the future. Amazon's opaque data-collection procedures raise other important questions about privacy and information security..... We already know that, in the West, we suffer from a crisis of social isolation – what used to be called loneliness – that is so acute it is becoming a public-health crisis. Social interactions, even small and seemingly meaningless ones, can have great benefit to people who feel disconnected and adrift. A smile from a cashier or a commiseration from a fellow shopper could be the highlight of someone's day. ....."The more contact we have with other human beings, the better the world is, even if it's just a gas station attendant or a store clerk," Dr. Yarrow said. "This is how we form communities, in these seemingly inconsequential interactions."....But community-building isn't the buzzword of the moment – "seamlessness" is. That is, all experiences are meant to be as convenient as possible, requiring the least number of clicks, human interactions, waiting times. Friction is the enemy. Bumps are the enemy, and so, I gather, are sidesteps and interruptions and serendipity. I'm not sure if the proponents of seamlessness have ever listened to Leonard Cohen, or they would have heard the master's wisdom: "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
Amazon  Amazon_Go  retailers  e-commerce  experimentation  soulless  Communicating_&_Connecting  sterile  loneliness  cashierless 
february 2018 by jerryking
Some thoughts on Amazon Go Retail – Om Malik
Amazon today launched its new retail store, which doesn’t have any people manning the shelves. An automat, from a company that is all about making shopping friction-free, is an obvious first step in reshaping the American retail experience. Back in 2010, when I said so, everyone thought I was out of my damn mind. That era has come and gone — today is about friction free shopping – an extension of their one-click shopping and Amazon Prime concepts. 
First what is Amazon Go: It is an 1800 square-foot retail outlet in Seattle with no staff, where you can grab and go and where you get billed directly to your Amazon account. It offers everyday grocery staples, ready-to-eat meals, snacks and Amazon Meal Kits. Here are some of my thoughts about the new Amazon Go store and what it means, both from a technology and a business perspective...
amazon_go  automation  business  retail  self-serve 
january 2018 by rgl7194
Amazon Go and the Future – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Amazon Go is the story of technology, and so is this tweet:
I’m in Seattle and there is currently a line to shop at the grocery store whose entire premise is that you won’t have to wait in line. pic.twitter.com/fWr80A0ZPV
— Ryan Petersen (@typesfast) January 22, 2018
Yesterday the Amazon Go concept store in Seattle opened to the public, filled with sandwiches, salads, snacks, various groceries, and even beer and wine (Recode has a great set of pictures here). The trick is that you don’t pay, at least in person: a collection of cameras and sensors pair your selection to your Amazon account — registered at the door via smartphone app — which rather redefines the concept of “grab-and-go.”
The economics of Amazon Go define the tech industry; the strategy, though, is uniquely Amazon’s. Most of all, the implications of Amazon Go explain both the challenges and opportunities faced by society broadly by the rise of tech.
amazon_go  retail  self-serve  technology  economics  automation  business 
january 2018 by rgl7194
Amazon Go Photos: Here’s what the new cashier-less convenience store looks like - Recode
It’s the store of the future.
Amazon is getting into more brick-and-mortar stores. While the retail giant purchased Whole Foods last year, Amazon had previously opened up a convenience store for employees under its own brand in Seattle in 2016.
Amazon Go was supposed to be a cashierless, checkout-line-free store to help get people in and out faster — a convenience store of the future. But while Amazon employees have been able to use the store for the past year or so, it had failed to open to the public. Until now.
Recode Senior Editor Jason Del Rey recently got a look at the store, which is located at the bottom of Amazon’s main office tower in Seattle, before it opens to the public on Monday, Jan. 22. Let’s take a look.
You scan a special Amazon Go app on the way in to get access to the store. On the way out, you just walk out — no scanning.
amazon_go  retail  self-serve  automation  business 
january 2018 by rgl7194
Today’s the day you can go to Amazon Go—a store with no queues and no cash | Ars Technica
Until now, only Amazon employees could use the high-tech, hyper-convenient store.
After over a year of testing, Amazon will open its convenience store with no checkout queues and no cashiers, dubbed Amazon Go, to the public. The allure of Amazon Go is customers' ability to enter the store, put their items into their own shopping bags, and walk out. Amazon Go has no human cashiers to interact with, as all transactions are made wirelessly through the Amazon Go app and your Amazon account.
The online retailer announced Amazon Go in December 2016, opening its single location to Amazon employees only. Customers have to scan the Amazon Go app on a turnstile-like entryway before they can go into the store and shop. Once inside, customers can pick up any items they want—food, drinks, essential items, and even alcohol—and leave when they wish, without standing in a checkout line or interacting with a cashier. One of the few store employees will have to check your ID if you purchase alcohol, but otherwise you can leave when you've finished shopping and your Amazon account will be billed for the items you chose.
amazon_go  retail  self-serve  automation  business 
january 2018 by rgl7194
Amazon Go debuts, and its prying cameras foil our shoplifting attempts | Ars Technica
In spite of more than 100 cameras, I still managed to kinda-sorta steal some yogurt.
SEATTLE—A little more than one year ago, I tried, and failed, to sneak into Amazon Go. The pilot version of Amazon's first grocery store experiment advertised a first in the world of brick-and-mortar shopping: if you want to buy something, just pick it up, toss it in your bag, and walk out. A camera system watches you and uniquely tags every item you pick up, then the story automatically charges a pre-registered credit card for the purchases. No clerks, no check-out aisles.
Amazon's late-2016 announcement of this store was more about building buzz than letting the public in, however. Initially, it was limited only to Amazon employees. Worse, promises that the shop would open for average consumers in "early 2017" didn't come close to fruition, with insiders indicating to Ars that the store's camera-tracking system didn't hold up to larger testing scrutiny as anticipated. But with only 24 hours' notice, that changed on Monday. That same Seattle pilot shop—the one Amazon staffers refused to let us into in December 2016—finally opened its doors to anybody with a smartphone and the Amazon Go app.
amazon_go  retail  self-serve  automation  business 
january 2018 by rgl7194
Inside Amazon Go, a Store of the Future - The New York Times
Jan. 21, 2018 | NYT | By Nick Wingfield

....Amazon’s store of the future hits you right at the front door. It feels as if you are entering a subway station. A row of gates guard the entrance to the store, known as Amazon Go, allowing in only people with the store’s smartphone app......Every time customers grab an item off a shelf, Amazon says the product is automatically put into the shopping cart of their online account. If customers put the item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from their virtual basket. The only sign of the technology that makes this possible floats above the store shelves — arrays of small cameras, hundreds of them throughout the store. Amazon won’t say much about how the system works, other than to say it involves sophisticated computer vision and machine learning software. Translation: Amazon’s technology can see and identify every item in the store, without attaching a special chip to every can of soup and bag of trail mix. ........Amazon Go, checking out feels like — there’s no other way to put it — shoplifting. ......A big unanswered question is where Amazon plans to take the technology. It won’t say whether it plans to open more Amazon Go stores, or leave this as a one-of-a-kind novelty. A more intriguing possibility is that it could use the technology inside Whole Foods stores, though Ms. Puerini said Amazon has “no plans” to do so.

There’s even speculation that Amazon could sell the system to other retailers, much as it sells its cloud computing services to other companies.
Amazon_Go  Amazon  retailers  Whole_Foods  grocery  supermarkets  one-of-a-kind  convenience_stores  customer_experience  cashierless 
january 2018 by jerryking
Big Prize in Amazon-Whole Foods Deal: Data - WSJ
By Laura Stevens and Heather Haddon
June 20, 2017

The deal for Whole Foods Market Inc., which people familiar with the matter said came together quickly, presents Amazon with several potential gains. It could use the stores as distribution hubs to build out its online grocery-delivery business. Amazon also could stock gadgets such as its Kindle e-readers and Echo speakers, as well as goods from its burgeoning private label.

The bigger opportunity, though, is data.

Amazon for years has been looking for more ways to gather information about how consumers shop. It has long been rumored to be on the prowl for a breakthrough deal, even as it set up its own much smaller Amazon Go and AmazonFresh Pickup stores as experiments.

If the deal goes through, the combination likely will be powerful. Amazon and Whole Foods can join their online and in-store knowledge to better predict what goods to carry in each store, said James Thomson, a former senior manager in business development at Amazon and now partner at the brand consultancy Buy Box Experts.....One enticing aspect of a deal between Amazon and Whole Foods is the significant overlap, analysts say, between the companies’ traditionally loyal customer bases.

A Morgan Stanley survey shows about 62% of Whole Foods shoppers are members of Amazon’s Prime service, opening the door for cross-sell promotions to entice customers who shop at both to spend more.

Amazon, though, doesn’t know how those customers shop in stores—a gaping hole in data about its more than 300 million shoppers.....Amazon has had a more difficult experiment with Amazon Go, its convenience-style store in which customers scan their phones as they walk in, pick up items to purchase and exit without a traditional checkout. The public opening has been delayed, in part because of technological hurdles and Amazon’s limited experience in managing the flow of customers and products in a physical space....

.......The data Amazon collects will likely help it decide which of its growing roster of private-label brands to expand and which new ones to launch, especially when it comes to consumables and food. Whole Foods already has a large private-label business...Bringing together online and offline data can help Amazon learn how to entice customers to make more impulse purchases online, according to analysts and retail consultants.
data  omnichannel  Amazon  Whole_Foods  physical_space  private_labels  impulse_purchasing  Amazon_Go  AmazonFresh  experimentation  cashierless  Amazon_Prime  cross-selling 
june 2017 by jerryking
Three Hard Lessons the Internet Is Teaching Traditional Stores
April 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.
Legacy retailers have to put their mountains of purchasing data to work to create the kind of personalization and automation shoppers are getting online
(1) Data Is King
When I asked Target, Walgreens and grocery chain Giant Food about loyalty programs and the fate of customers’ purchasing data—which is the in-store equivalent of your web browsing history—they all declined to comment. ...Data has been a vital part of Amazon’s retail revolution, just as it was with Netflix ’s media revolution and Google and Facebook ’s advertising revolution. For brick-and-mortar retailers, purchasing data doesn’t just help them compete with online adversaries; it has also become an alternate revenue source when profit margins are razor-thin. ....Physical retailers must catch up to online retailers in collecting rich data without making it feel so intrusive. Why, exactly, does my grocery store need my phone number?

(2) Personalization + Automation = Profits
Personalization and Automation = Profits
There’s a debate in the auto industry: Can Tesla get good at making cars faster than Ford, General Motors and Toyota can get good at making self-driving electric vehicles? The same applies to retail: Can physical retailers build intimate digital relationships with their customers—and use that data to update their stores—faster than online-first retailers can learn how to lease property, handle inventory and manage retail workers?

Online retailers know what’s popular, and how customers who like one item tend to like certain others. So Amazon’s physical bookstores can put out fewer books with more prominently displayed covers. Bonobos doesn’t even sell clothes in its stores, which it calls “guideshops.” Instead, customers go there to try clothes on, and their selections are delivered through the company’s existing e-commerce system.

Amazon’s upcoming Go convenience stores, selling groceries and meal kits, don’t require cashiers. That’s the sort of automation that could position Amazon to reap margins—or slash prices—to a degree unprecedented for retailers in traditionally low-margin categories like food and packaged goods.

While online retailers are accustomed to updating inventory and prices by the hour, physical retailers simply don’t have the data or the systems to keep up, and tend to buy and stock on cycles as long as a year, says George Faigen, a retail consultant at Oliver Wyman. Some legacy retailers are getting around this by teaming up with online players.

Target stocks men’s shaving supplies from not one but two online upstarts, Harry’s and Bevel. Target has said that, as a result, more customers are coming in to buy razors, increasing the sales of every brand on that aisle—even good old Gillette. Retailers have long relied on manufacturers to drive customers to stores by marketing their goods and even managing in-store displays. The difference is this: In the past, new brands had to persuade store buyers to dole out precious shelf space; now the brands can prove themselves online first.

(3) Legacy Tech Won’t Cut It

Perhaps the biggest challenge for existing retailers, says Euromonitor’s Ms. Grant, is finding the money to transition to this hybrid online-offline model. While Target has announced it will spend $7 billion over the next three years to revamp its stores, investors fled the stock in February after Target reported 2017 profits might be 25% less than expected.

When Warby Parker, the online eyeglasses retailer, set out to launch stores across the U.S., the company looked for in-store sales software that could integrate with its existing e-commerce systems. It couldn’t find a system up to the task, so it built one from scratch.

These kinds of systems allow salespeople to know what customers have bought both online and off, and what they might be nudged toward on that day. “We call it the ‘point of everything’ system,” says David Gilboa, co-founder and co-chief executive.

Having this much customer knowledge available instantly is critical, but it’s precisely what existing retailers struggle with, Mr. Faigen says.

Even Amazon is experiencing brick-and-mortar difficulties. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Go stores would be delayed because of kinks in the point-of-sale software system.

Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-chief executive of Harry’s, is skeptical that traditional retailers like Wal-Mart can make the leap, even if they invest heavily in technology.

The problem, he says, is that selling online isn’t just about taking orders through a website. Companies that succeed are good at selling direct to consumers—building technology from the ground up, integrating teams skilled at navigating online marketing’s ever-shifting terrain and managing the experience through fulfillment and delivery, Mr. Katz-Mayfield says.

That e-commerce startups are so confident about their own future doesn’t mean they are right about the fate of traditional retailers, however.

A report from Merrill Lynch argues Wal-Mart is embarking on a period of 20% to 30% growth for its e-commerce business. A spokesman for the company said that in addition to acquisitions, the company is focused on growing its e-commerce business organically.

It isn’t hard to picture today’s e-commerce companies becoming brick-and-mortar retailers. It’s harder to bet on traditional retailers becoming as tech savvy as their e-competition.
lessons_learned  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  curation  cyberphysical  personalization  e-commerce  shopping_malls  automation  privacy  Warby_Parker  Amazon_Go  data  data_driven  think_threes  Bonobos  Amazon  legacy_tech  omnichannel  Harry’s  Bevel  loyalty_management  low-margin  legacy_players  digital_first  Tesla  Ford  GM  Toyota  automobile  electric_cars  point-of-sale  physical_world  contra-Amazon  brands  shelf_space  the_great_game  cashierless 
april 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Living Lab: Reimagining Retail on Seattle Streets
FEB. 12, 2017 | The New York Times | By NICK WINFIELD.

While Amazon has never articulated the grand strategy behind its expansion into physical stores, analysts and tech executives believe its goal is to capture a bigger share of some forms of shopping — food being the biggest — that may never move entirely online....the most obvious reason the company tries out new ideas in its own backyard is that it makes life easier for corporate leadership to see them in action without having to get on planes. Executives closely scrutinize how customers use new stores and tweak them as they gather data....Amazon Go customers enter the store through a gate with a smartphone app and simply walk out with their goods when they’re done.....Seattle has long been receptive to new ideas in retail. REI, Costco Wholesale and Nordstrom are among the store chains that got their start here.....One of Amazon’s more puzzling retail experiments in Seattle is the Treasure Truck, a roaming delivery truck retrofitted with carnival-style lights and signs, from which customers can pick up items offered during flash sales through the Amazon mobile app. The truck, which seems like the offspring of a billboard and an ice cream truck, has sold wild mahi-mahi steaks, paddle boards and Nintendo game consoles.
Seattle  Amazon  retailers  reimagining  convenience_stores  flash_sales  AmazonFresh  BOPIS  pop-ups  Starbucks  Amazon_Go  bricks-and-mortar  bookstores  experimentation  e-commerce  cashierless 
february 2017 by jerryking
Amazon Working on Several Grocery-Store Formats, Could Open More Than 2,000 Locations - WSJ
By LAURA STEVENS and KHADEEJA SAFDAR
Updated Dec. 5, 2016

Amazon.com Inc. unveiled Monday its first small-format grocery store, Amazon Go, one of at least three brick-and-mortar formats the online retail giant is exploring as it makes a play for an area of shopping that remains stubbornly in-store....The Amazon Go store, at roughly 1,800 square feet in downtown Seattle, resembles a convenience store-format in a video Amazon released Monday. It features artificial intelligence-powered technology that eliminates checkouts, cash registers and lines. Instead, customers scan their phone on a kiosk as they walk in, and Amazon automatically determines what items customers take from the shelves. After leaving the store, Amazon charges their account for the items and sends a receipt....While Amazon is moving into brick-and-mortar grocery shopping, other large retailers are expanding their online services. Wal-Mart’s curbside pickup service offers some convenience without the cost of home delivery.
Amazon  Amazon_Go  grocery  supermarkets  analog  home-delivery  e-commerce  small_spaces  store_footprints  bricks-and-mortar  artificial_intelligence  AmazonFresh  convenience_stores  cashierless 
december 2016 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read