With nigh-immediate grocery deliveries becoming more and more accessible, there's less incentive to pop down to your local shop to pick up the essentials. But Barclaycard is working on a way to make the in-store experience more convenient by allowing customers to dodge the checkout queue and pay for their basket with their smartphone. The "Grab Go" app basically turns your device's camera into a barcode reader. When you're done combing the isles and scanning your haul, you simply checkout inside the app and your purchases are charged to a linked card. It then generates a digital receipt that the merchant also has access to, in case they suspect your bag is hiding a few undocumented items.
When you walk into a store there is a high degree of excitement and anticipation. We love to touch and feel products and relish the spontaneity of making a purchase. But unfortunately, the current store experience fails to meet expectations. By the time you are ready to make a purchase, you have to wait in a line for 15 - 20 minutes, you approach the clunky register and soon this anticipation converts to "antisappointment". There is nothing personal or experiential about it.
Amazon's experimental checkout-free retail store in Seattle formally opened to the greater public back in January and pulled off its liberating -- if unnerving -- concept: Scan the dedicated app upon entering, slip groceries in your basket and walk out the door, with a suite of cameras and facial recognition tech ensuring you're charged for what you walk out with. In light of its success, the company planned six more to open in 2018, and it seems one of those has just been spotted. A second Amazon Go appeared in downtown Seattle, and according to a statement provided to GeekWire, it's slated to open in Fall 2018. The site peeked into the alleged new store and reported a lot of elements familiar to the earlier Amazon Go experience, from entry-exit scanning gates to windows bearing the brand's slogan "No lines. It's located on the bottom floor of the Madison Centre office tower, located next to the eye-catching Seattle Public Library and across town from the initial Amazon Go located at the shipping giant's headquarters.
The days of spending your precious lunchbreak standing in line for a sandwich are increasingly numbered, as supermarket chain Sainsbury's has launched the UK's first ever till-free grocery store. The busy store in London's Holborn Circus has been given a mobile-first makeover, so customers can scan and pay for their goods via their smartphone, while staff previously chained to checkout areas are free to spend time helping customers on the shop floor. It's not quite as ground-breaking as what's being done by Amazon with its Amazon Go stores. Here, customers just pick up whatever they want and a combination of sensors and cameras makes sure they're billed automatically when they leave the store -- Sainsburys' tech requires a bit of work by the customer. However, the popularity of self-scan grocery shopping in the UK means the process won't be alien to users.
For decades, grocery stores have dreamed of fully automated technology that would allow them to dispense with cashiers altogether. But self-checkout systems introduced so far have been clunky and wound up just shifting a lot of work from store employees onto the customer. On Monday, Amazon introduced a new self-checkout technology that -- if it works as advertised -- could totally transform the retail sector. Called "Amazon Go," the technology literally allows people to walk into a store, select items they want to purchase, and walk out. Amazon is opening an 1,800-square-foot convenience store in Seattle to test out the technology.