Can Amazon Make the Checkout Lane Obsolete?
So much for the checkout lane: Amazon’s vision of the future, which it’s testing in Seattle, is a grocery store that enables customers to complete purchases via scanning mobile phones instead of waiting to pay.
Here’s how the Amazon Go store concept works, according to the e-retailer, the largest e-commerce operator in North America: Consumers will scan their Amazon Go apps at the store entrance before starting to shop. The app will then track items selected—and items returned to shelves—and then charge for items still in the customer’s possession upon exit from the store. Amazon then posts charges for the purchase to customer Amazon accounts.
“This is part of its efforts to do everything possible to make the Amazon name synonymous with retail, whether it’s online or offline,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co., to Bloomberg. “This is another test in figuring out what works and what doesn’t in the retail environment.”
Amazon expects the store to open in early 2017 to general consumers. For now, the e-retailer’s employees are testing the 1,800-square-foot space. If the concept proves successful, Amazon could open 2,000 such stores across the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon already has attempted to gain a larger foothold in physical retail. Earlier this year the company launched a service that enables consumers to use their Amazon accounts for purchases from other retailers. The move came shortly after Amazon announced the launch of the Amazon Payments Partner Program, a global program it says will help e-commerce platform providers and developers extend the trust and familiarity of Amazon Payments to their merchant customers.
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