Amazon has annonced Go and revealed their plan for outflanking brick and mortar merchants on the high-street. Much was made of Amazon Fresh, the online grocery delivery service that, along with its competitors, was supposed to take a bite out of the supermarket industry. However, after 8 years Amazon Fresh is only in 12 cities and its disappointing growth stands as evidence that most people would rather buy their groceries in person.
Then in November, leaked internal documents revealed Amazon’s next plans: opening 2000 brick & mortar grocery stores in the US. The Amazon Go announcement video shows Amazon’s strategy for taking on brick & mortar: As the happy shoppers walk out the final message is “No lines. No checkout. (No, seriously.)” Amazon is betting that line-free shopping is the future of grocery, and that they can get there first.
It’s not surprising that Amazon would focus their innovation on convenience. Their Amazon Prime service is so popular that 40% of US households pay for the privilege.
Amazon isn’t the only one betting that line-free checkout will be a key competitive edge. WalMart’s Sam’s Club Scan & Go rolled out this year to a great reception, with a similar rollout expected at WalMart proper next year. FutureProof Retail launched the first store in the US to open with line free checkout in November, San Luis Obispo’s California Fresh Market. FutureProof’s whitelabel technology provides line-free checkout and unlike Amazon’s, it’s available now and it’s an easy upgrade for existing stores.
“As Amazon Go stores open across the country we’ll be there, giving brick and mortar stores the chance to go line-free first.” FutureProof CEO William Hogben said, “We have limited installation dates open this Spring, email us for more information or join us at NRF Booth 3783 for a hands-on demo with our partner Bizerba.”