Walk in, walk out. What self-service means for retail

Retailers are quickly arriving at a seemingly paradoxical crossroad, where to remain competitive they must find ways to deliver customer experiences that are both extremely personal, yet increasingly time-effective.

We know for a fact that shoppers are becoming more impatient. Which is due in part to a rise in sophisticated self-service capabilities, innovative online stores and revolutionary technology like Amazon Go. 

Thanks to IoT and digital transformation, soon shoppers will simply be able to walk in to a store, fill their basket and walk out. No queuing, no paying.

The customer journey

The retail customer journey is altering quicker than ever. In years to come, even recent innovations could become obsolete thanks to the increased speed that disruptive technologies are being developed.

Before long, self-service checkouts and cashless mobile payments could be left behind, as new technologies come to the fore that mean shoppers might never have to queue up, or even consciously make a payment, ever again.

With the speed at which technology evolves, retailers should be keeping a mindful eye on what’s possible. As names like Amazon test the water with the latest innovations, we can all learn from their results of further combining the worlds of physical and digital retail. 

There’s even a chance we’ll be able to take advantage as they provide the kind of data insights that we’ve been dreaming of.

The IoT factor

With Amazon’s ‘just walk out’ venture, the ecommerce giant is planning to use IoT in a way that automatically monitors when products are picked up and put down again. With IoT-driven sensors integrated into the shelves, data gathering can commence the moment a shopper picks up a product. 

In precise real-time, the retailer gains insight into its most popular products or areas of the store, how long customers spent in the store, and even the physical journey that each customer takes whilst walking around. 

Better analytics. Smarter decisions.

For some time, retailers have been exploring off the shelf data insights. With IoT driven capabilities, partnered with mobile and digital camera technology, these data insights are now within reach - allowing companies to deploy unprecedented levels of customer service, interaction and engagement.


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