No Lines, No Problem: Cashier-less Stores vs. Traditional Retail
October 24, 2018
By: Heidi C. Quan
Amazon opened another Go store in San Francisco, its third city after opening locations in Chicago and Seattle. Scan your Amazon account on the Amazon Go app to enter, pick what you want off the shelves and walk out. Cameras and sensors track customers throughout the store and other technology monitors when you take items off shelves (or put them back). Your digital receipt will charge you for items that you have taken off the shelves. No cashiers, no lines, no problem.
With three stores in Seattle, two in Chicago with another two opening soon, one in San Francisco and another opening months from now, Amazon looks primed (pun intended) to start expanding its brick-and-mortar operation. Another store is planned for New York City as well.
The goal is convenience and speed and it looks like this cashier-less store may have a leg up on traditional retail locations. Customers no longer have to wait in lines and waste their lunch hour trying to purchase quick on-the-go food. This model may be convenient for consumers, it is also clearly benefits the retailer. While the up-front costs would likely be costly, this technology could help cut costs long-term by eliminating traditional overhead costs including cashiers, credit card processing and the like. This technology also helps retailers understand their consumers better to identify inventory. While it is unlikely that these automated stores will take over the retail industry across the country, it certainly could be the new normal in certain urban areas where "life by app" is the norm.