The Growth of Human-free Retail

A couple of days ago the first Amazon Go convenience store opened, in Seattle. Shoppers can simply pick up the items they would like to purchase and walk out. There’s absolutely not any need to stand in lines and proceed through checkout.

The sole requirement for shoppers would be to set up the Amazon Go app in their smartphone and use that app when they enter the shop. They can then pick up the goods they want. Amazon utilizes multiple technologies — computer vision, sensors, machine learning to detect the products and add them into the clients’ virtual shopping carts. Clients exit the store with their goods and Amazon automatically charges the clients’ Amazon Pay account.

Amazon Go allows shoppers to pick up the items they would like to purchase and walk out. There’s absolutely not any need to stand in lines and proceed through checkout. Picture: Amazon.

The Amazon Go store isn’t strictly”human-free.” Employees continue to be needed to build products, like salads, and stock the shelves. Employees may also answer questions. But this is a massive advancement in the retail world. Labor is often the biggest expense for brick-and-mortar merchants.

By reducing the amount of individuals, Amazon has made the economics of running a retail shop more favorable. In addition, it has made shopping easier for customers. What’s more, it has removed theft losses as the cameras catch every item that’s picked up and added into a virtual shopping cart.

Past Amazon Go

Can Amazon implement this human-free technology in its own Whole Foods stores? And will Walmart, Target, and other competitions execute a similar technology? The answer is probably”yes.” In actuality, other companies are doing it already.

Bingobox works about a dozen human-free convenience stores in China. The shops are smaller compared to Amazon Go, as shown in the picture below. They are somewhat like a large vending machine. Clients use an app to go into the shop and utilize WeChat’s mobile payment technologies to test out. For service, clients can video chat with a partner. The shops are mounted on wheels, to readily change places.

Bingobox is aggressively promoting the franchise model, with plans to open hundreds of stores. The organization raised $80 million this month, bringing the total funding to nearly $95 million.

Bingobox stores are very similar to a large vending machine. Shoppers use an app to go into the shop and utilize WeChat’s mobile payment technologies to test out. Picture: Bingobox.

Wheelys, a supplier of mobile cafes, has opened a couple of human-free shops in Sweden, using technology from MobyMart. Wheelys has also opened evaluation shop in Shanghai. The stores are very similar to Amazon Go: Shoppers can install an app, walk into the shop, pick up things, and walk outside. Shoppers’ pre-registered credit cards or bank account details are automatically charged when they depart. Wheelys is offering this technology to any merchant.

F5 Future Store is just another China-based vendor. It’s opened human-free convenience stores which use robots. Shoppers can pick items on displays and check out with a mobile app. A robot picks up the chosen items and delivers it to the client. The shops sell food items and supply space for customers to sit and eat. The cleanup procedure afterward is also automatic.

See also:

Tao Café is a human-free shop from Alibaba in Hangzhou, China. The shop, which opened in 2017, uses facial recognition to identify shoppers, who make payments using Alipay, Alibaba’s payment platform. Shoppers can pick up products and walk through a 1-meter-long scanner to buy them. Alibaba opened the café to showcase its technologies and encourage other retailers to operate with Alibaba on similar stores.

Walmart is testing a service in select shops known as”Scan & Go” that enables shoppers to scan items and pay with a mobile app. Customers then demonstrate that the electronic receipt to an employee in the shop before exiting. The cashier-less checkout could make shopping more convenient and decrease labor costs. Walmart intends to expand this to hundreds of shops.

Will human-free retail function as the future of brick-and-mortar shops? Please share your ideas, below.

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