After trying out the concept of Amazon Fresh store is hard to believe that the future of shopping journey is not going to be a cashierless ‘Just Walk Out’.
GRAB & GO EXPERIENCE
Convenience is king for most grocery store customers, therefore it is likely that people will choose it over privacy concerns. London is already the most surveilled city in the Western wold, so instore security cameras are nothing new.
All in all, the store design is simple and generic. It could be any supermarket brand store. You are not going to spend time there enjoying shopping. Instead the design is directed towards a quick pit stop.
PRODUCT SELECTION & RANGE
The food and range selection is very similar to M&S Food stores that are aimed for quality conscious but busy urbanites. There are many ready meals on offer, and they look much better than in an average super market.
Food prices are surprisingly similar compared to big grocery chains. Competition is fierce, so at least at the moment they are not clearly more expensive than others. In addition, Amazon offer £5 discount for the first purchase and paper shopping bag is also free.
There is staff around to help with any issues, so it is not all self-service (yet).
If you already have an Amazon account, all you need to do is get Amazon app that gives you a unique QR code which lets you in the store.
It is a very strange feeling to place shopping in the bag and just walk out. I can imagine how hard it feels to go back to normal shopping if you get used to it. The shopping receipt will appear into your Amazon account afterwards. Even the first time going through the process feels quite effortless.
Of course the major problem with this type of technology is that is not available for everyone. Not only do you need to have a smart phone but also to be able to use online banking and have basic digital skills.
Another question is what will Amazon do with all the data it collects from shopping. There is no transparency of the data use. The amount of data and level of details into customer habits and lifestyle is on another level when you include everyday grocery shopping compared to ordering few books online. In addition to Amazon Fresh stores they are expanding ‘Just Walk Out’ concept into Whole Foods stores. (Amazon bought Whole Foods chain more than a year ago).
It is always a personal dilemma how much data you are willing to share. But convenience has proved to be the key in the past.