Amazon May Just Fix the Grocery Game

Amazon’s product management team famously — a tad bit notoriously — begins every new product idea by writing a simple one-page press release. They use this for management’s discussion and analysis in determining whether their novel idea sounds compelling enough to even consider investing in. Then, they conduct a major PR push to the public to gauge consumer response. (A push we experienced this past Monday.) With that in mind, view the Amazon Go landing page. It’s a testing ground. Ladies & Gentlemen, you are being tested.

But, for good reason. Amazon may soon be investing in a major interruption in the grocery and retail industry

There will be no lines. No cashiers. No check-outs. You’ll swipe your Amazon bar code (attached to your account) to check-in to the futuristic grocery store.

There will be everything from fresh salads to small groceries and personal care items. Everything you’d expect from the likes of an uber-convenient Whole Foods or neighborhood bodega.

You’ll walk in, pick out what you want — maybe bag it up, maybe not — and walk out. You’ll LITERALLY just walk out. And through the process of what Amazon is calling “Walk Out Technology” your Amazon account will be immediately charged.

WATCH: A GLIMPSE OF AMAZON GO

As we were conducting a roundtable on this news and topic, there were many emotions permeating the room. The most prevalent emotion: Guilt and Fear. “What do you mean I just walk out?” “I’m afraid their shrink is going to increase significantly.” “I can’t just leave without talking to someone.” “What if the technology goes down, can you imagine the chaos?”

But, as with any new technology, fear precedes acceptance and understanding. A patent filed two years ago suggests Amazon is using cameras, microphones, sensors and cloud computing to enable the technology…if it comes to fruition.

However, from a technology perspective, the sheer number of video cameras, deep learning algorithms, training data, and precise movements by the humans operating within the store is so complex and advanced that even using Amazon Web Services, it would be a stretch to see how this would work at scale, let alone as a prototype.

Humans are a messy lot. We’re not fond of rules or precise movements, especially in groups. It seems Amazon is going to need a better solution to managing the chaos that is a grocery store. Which is likely why making BIG changes to the traditional means of shopping is a slow moving undertaking.

…A necessary undertaking.

With our 20+ years of Retail Experience we are prepped to help our clients build their business in a way that moves them ahead. Not just to compete with the looming potential of Amazon Go but to own market share.

Let’s talk.

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