Amazon is reportedly in the process to open 3,000 convenience cashiers-less stores across the globe by 2021. The announcement is a strategic move by Amazon towards the IoT-enabled retail market. The company for its IoT initiative would witness the merger of retail and web in a real life, as reported by Bloomberg.
The move will help the company come out as a strong competitor against the metro-styled convenience retail stores like Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Through the move, Amazon will also set a tough competition for outlets like Pret a Manger.
The recent development has hinted at the company’s plan for expansions as the checkout-free style of shopping is expected to dominate in the near future. A new range of sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices are being deployed by the retailers to keep a tap on the movement of the shoppers inside the shop. The latest technologies are saving them from the incidents of theft and losses.
The IoT devices are not only for the retailers but also for the shoppers. Just like the retailers, shoppers will also get an insight on the items that they have bought from the shop. The information would be shared with each shopper through smartphone enabled apps.
Amazon Go cashier-less store is a new initiative by Amazon that was launched in 2016. Since its inception, the company has opened a number of cashiers-less stores in the US. Recently it opened a store in the San Francisco’s Soma district.
Amazon is not the only company embracing IoT, as UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has also revealed its plans to checkout-free shopping in London stores. The retail IoT enabled devices are powered by the SmartShop app that allows the users to scan items as they purchase them. The items thus scanned can be paid through Apple Pay by simply scanning the QR code on the exit gates.
Sainsbury’s has deployed the SmartShop app for its 68 supermarkets. According to a statement from Sainsbury’s, the superstore recorded more than 100,000 SmartShop deals. In addition, there were 3,000 to 4,000 new entries almost every week. The data highlights the excitement and support of people for using IoT enabled devices in the retail sector.
A yet another company Co-op introduced a smartphone-based checkout which used apps powered by MasterCard’s ‘Master pass’ mobile payment technology. The recent development has helped many new entrants to enter the retail market and distinguish themselves. Adopting the latest technologies, retail companies are attracting new customers which in turn is helping them survive.
The concept of retail IoT is quite old in China where ashier-free convenience stores and mobile wallets such as WeChat are already in use. These markets are difficult to concur with the new entrants. Many new start-ups are making to the retail market with cashier-free stores. However, the technologies adopted by them is less sophisticated than the one deployed by Amazon and Zippin. Their technology is based on cameras, sensors, AI and RFID tags and a lot more. It will be interesting to see how Amazon will establish its retail IoT victory across the world.