Has Amazon just changed the personalised shopping experience?
Working in the personalised clothing industry makes you aware that a personalised experience is often key to high customer satisfaction. From the clothing that people wear to the way that they make purchases, the world we live in is constantly adapting to the needs of the customers.
Whether it's personalised clothing or simply a weekly food shop, shopping online has a lot of appeal to consumers. Ultimately, it makes the whole shopping process easier. One of the biggest plus points is the fact that the lengthy waits in queues at supermarkets and other retail shops are avoided. Unfortunately, however, there are some positive aspects to physically visiting a shop that online shopping simply can't do. I know personally, I've spent many an occasion selecting clothing online, paying special delivery so it arrives on time for a big night out and suddenly disaster strikes. The clothes don't fit or really doesn't suit me the way that I imagined it would. Suddenly, I'm stuck, panicking about what I'm going to wear and regretting not making the decision to visit the shop in person. Imagine if you could avoid this whilst still not coming home with aching feet from waiting in queues. Just imagine, removing those hour long queues that you often face on a Sunday in your local ASDA supermarket. Think about it at this time of year, avoiding the mad Christmas rush whilst still being able to actually see what you're buying. It's the dream, to pick your items, view them, put them in your bag and simply walk out. No waiting for the checkout worker to scan your items, no inserting your card into those slow machines that seem to take hours to go through. That's the dream, a simple, quick and efficient experience.
Until now, simply putting your item in your bag and walking out would sound an awful lot like shoplifting. However, for those of you who have dreamed about this efficient experience, here is some very good news for you. Amazon has officially changed the game of offline shopping.
It's not uncommon for Amazon to change the way that we do things. If you cast your mind back, they made it easier for us to buy, download and read books thanks to the Amazon Kindle and their online bookstore. Amazon has continued to succeed, daring to go where others dare not as innovators. However, they're not set to stop yet. Instead, they're looking to grab some more of the market share but this time in the physical world.
Thanks to their latest innovation, Amazon Go, customers can now simplify their shopping experience and complete their in-store purchases as quickly as you could online. Say goodbye to the 5-minute dash to the shop on your lunch break which always takes longer than expected and results in, to put it simply, a lunch break without time for lunch. Instead, you simply walk in, pick up what you want and leave.
Experts in the field of retail have all agreed that the concept behind Amazon Go will very likely become the future of retail. Unfortunately, however, currently, there is only going to be one location where you can take advantage of Amazon Go and it's no surprise that it'll be in Amazon's hometown of Seattle, USA. Seattle residents don't get too excited just yet, for the time being, this project is in its BETA testing phase and is only available to Amazon employees. In addition to this, the app is only designed to work on a selected amount of perishable goods such as bread, cheese, milk, etc., and a few pre-made snacks and fresh meals. However, this isn't a reason not to get excited about it. Amazon Go shops have a very real chance of dominating the shopping experience. Currently, there are plans to open to the general public next year.
So, how will this shopping experience actually work? The whole process of Amazon Go shopping is pretty simple. In order to use the service, all you will need to shop is the Amazon Go app on your phone. Take this with you and then simply enter the store and hey presto, your revolutionary shopping experience has begun.
Once you're in the store, a simple tap on a turnstile will automatically log you into the store's network and it will log your purchases in a virtual basket as you choose them. Unwanted purchases are avoided due to the fact that if an item is placed back on the shelves, the app recognises and it is removed from your virtual basket.
Once you've made your decision you can then simply leave the store to complete the purchase. The app automatically charges the total amount to your Amazon account, meaning no queues and no waiting for the card machine to process.
The specifics and technical details about this enterprise are pretty vague in the eye of the public. At the moment, Amazon isn't providing many details about the service aside from a select few buzzwords which are being floated around such as; computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning. All of these refer to technologies that have come to the forefront of industries over the past few years. Computer vision experts and retail technology specialists have all agreed that the system Amazon is advertising is definitely plausible - even though the current technology is limited in terms of artificial intelligence, RFID technology, and machine learning technology.
Doug Stephens, founder and president of Retail Prophet, said: "If it works at all like it does in their video, this will be nothing short of revolutionary." and according to the same source, Amazon's latest innovation will literally change the entire game for the retail industry. One thing is for certain, when Amazon Go is released (touted as being February 2017), it will bring the convenience of shopping online to your offline shopping and promises to change the shopping experience for every customer.