Amazon Shakes Up the Retail Industry Once Again with Frictionless Checkout

Amazon recently announced that one of their three new brick-and-mortar concepts is a grocery store, called Amazon Go, whereby shoppers can grab grocery staples, prepared meals and sandwiches and depart with products in hand, without ever having to stop at checkout or interact with a cashier. Payment will be entirely handled via an Amazon Go mobile app connected to the shopper’s Amazon account while the components of a shopper’s basket will be calculated via a combination of AI, computer vision and data pulled from multiple sensors in the Amazon Go stores.

This announcement comes on the heels of earlier rumors this year that Amazon was planning to open 300 to 400 physical stores. If any brick and mortar retailers are still under the impression that Amazon is content to compete for the 10% of total retail sales that happen outside of physical stores, hopefully this serves as a wake up call. Whether it’s Amazon Go’s frictionless checkout, the ease of product reordering enabled through the Amazon Dash button, or simply the impressive Amazon recommendation engine for shopper personalization, the ecommerce giant is reinventing retail to appeal to today’s shopper…And all of this will have bottom line impacts for brick and mortar retailers if they don’t up their own game.

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom for traditional retailers. While Amazon may be grabbing headlines, brick and mortar retailers are also delving into new technologies to enhance the in-store experience for shoppers. Beacons and other location signals, such as GPS, WiFi and Visible Light Communications (VLC), make it easy for retailers to incorporate mobile as an integrated part of the in-store experience. Some examples of location-signal based retail trials already underway include:

  • Interactive in-store displays
  • Product locator assistance for mobile-built shopping lists
  • Instant access to product reviews
  • Buying guides and personalized in-aisle coupons
  • Improved clienteling via shopper identification upon store entry
  • Streamlined service for Buy Online, Pickup in Store
  • In-store reminders for regularly purchased items
  • Enhanced loyalty rewards with on-site “Surprise and Delight” features

These mobile-enabled advancements in brick and mortar stores are both enhancing the experience for shoppers and also driving meaningful business results for retailers. In fact, a recent Swirl customer saw a greater than 50% uplift in sales for products promoted via beacon-triggered in-store messaging! In a mall setting, Swirl customers have seen impressive success with drive-to-store mobile messaging, with clients seeing anywhere between a 25% and 81% uplift in mall-to-store traffic conversion rates. Ultimately, the winners in the retail landscape will be those retailers who pay attention to how today’s shoppers want to shop and invest in technologies that support that evolution. Bottom line results like the ones seen by Swirl customers place location technologies at the top of the list of investment priorities.

Contact us to learn how you can leverage mobile presence technologies to enhance the in-store experience for your shoppers and drive impressive business results for your retail chain.

(Photo: Amazon.com)


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