By Diana Gordon, Senior Partner, Director, Shop+, Mindshare North America
No lines? No checking out? No way. Actually, “Yes way!” says online retail giant Amazon, which announced last week that it plans to launch a new bricks-and-mortar store concept that eliminates the traditional checkout process entirely.
Called Amazon Go, the store will feature new technology called Just Walk Out to deliver a register-less shopping experience where payment is facilitated through an application on your phone.
The 1,800-square-foot concept store is currently in beta for Amazon employees, but the company hopes to open its doors to the public in early 2017.
This is not the first attempt by Amazon to open traditional bricks-and-mortar stores. It has already seen success with bookstores in locations including Seattle, San Diego and Portland. There are also plans for additional stores in Chicago and Boston in the works.
The recent move by the online giant should not come as a surprise.
Despite being the largest online United States-based retailer, there are some categories that Amazon just has not been able to crack open, including grocery.
According to Kantar Retail, online sales still only make up less than 2 percent of the total grocery market in the U.S., presenting an epic opportunity for innovation in the food-shopping category.
In another report by the Trade Survey, 85 percent of consumers reported wanting to touch and feel a product before they buy. That gives Amazon another great reason to believe that its new store concept will work, especially in busy urban markets.