Lessons for Retailers
Let’s be honest, with Amazon Go the company has pushed the retail industry beyond boundaries and has also furthered the divide between the digital native and traditional enterprises. The onus is now upon the retailers, big or small, to innovate in their own ways and take the next big leap before they get consumed by the next digital reality. On their way, they must not forget these key lessons that the story of Amazon Go has offered:
It is all about Data
By making it mandatory for customers entering Go stores to have an Amazon Prime account, the company is cleverly and confidently attracting and clubbing their customers under one giant Prime Membership kingdom (with estimated population around 69 million as of June, 2016)that lives and thrives on data. While fostering this ecosystem with much sophisticated levels of personalization with customized real-time discounts and benefits, Amazon is also acing its Big Data game and is soon expected to beat Google at their own game.
Digitization of Stores
In understanding the inevitability of an omnichannel retail future, it is also vital to understand that brick-and-mortar stores are an integral part of the ecosystem. With futuristic shopping solutions like Amazon Go entering the market in 2017, it is also imperative that customers would not be satisfied with “digitized stores” that offer just multiple delivery options; they want the whole culture to undergo a digital revolution. Recent reports saying that 65% of shopping budget is spent in-store is also giving hope to the retailers that digital and store can feed and not eat each other .
Real-time Inventory Visibility
Shopping models like Amazon Go, by design, have unarguably been upping the ante in terms of overall inventory and supply chain management. But the most interesting aspect here is that Amazon Go stores do not use RFID to track the orders taken. The technology gauges item availability with a combination of image, scale, pressure and weight analyses of the aisles thus creating a transparent system where the retailers and the supply chain managers can be in control for maintaining the endless aisles equilibrium.
Rising culture of Wallet Payments
By making the store check-out free, Amazon Go’s concept has opened the doors for what could be known as the era of cash/card-less payments and has indirectly underlined the irrelevance of PoS systems in the future. As retailers develop the stores for the future, they have to understand where their target audience stand in terms of easing the whole process of payment or at least open up avenues to minimize manual interventions.
If there is one thing that anybody can observe and learn from Amazon’s case study spanning over 2 decades is their aggressive urge to innovate constantly. From ideating a concept that made people glued to their screen even when shopping to developing a robot-run warehouse, Amazon has always innovated and leads the revolution even in the face of controversies and losses.
Amidst the hullabaloo around the launch of the concept, Amazon Go has also raised concerns over customer data exploitation and loss of millions of in-store jobs. But the company is ever-confident in their ability to innovate and provide opportunities in a whole new dimension that promises to nudge people back safely to the stores and engage them, more than ever, in the real world.