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It’s time for a retail revolution | Planet Attractions
     

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It’s time for a retail revolution

It’s been a landmark few weeks for Amazon, which recently launched its first till-less ‘just walk out’ stores in the UK. The shops remove tills and make retail a completely frictionless experience - something the visitor attractions sector should certainly be looking at




Amazon Fresh recently debuted its till-less shopping experience in the UK   Credit: Amazon

Amazon has been making the headlines in recent weeks, with a new innovation that looks set to change the face of retail as we know it.

Traditional stores have, of course, been improving their technology over the years. Scan as you go is one option in most major supermarkets, while self check out is another. But Amazon’s system is unique in that it removes checkouts altogether.

Already established in the US with 27 stores in the across Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City, Amazon uses several technologies to automate its Go stores, including computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion.

In London, Amazon has advanced the technology and has just launched two Amazon Fresh stores in the Ealing and Wembley parts of the British capital. In these stores, customers scan a smartphone app as they enter and are automatically billed for whatever purchases they make as they leave, eliminating any sort of payment steps traditionally associated with a retail transaction.



For retail, the concept is revolutionary, offering a way to streamline the customer experience like never before. Now all the shopper has to do is walk in, sign in, shop and then leave. It’s never been easier or more frictionless to make a multi-item purchase.

A concern from stores might be system errors, primarily associated with total number of items purchased and people being under or over charged. Amazon isn’t concerned though. In fact, the company is so confident with its technology, that it says its shoppers are under no obligation to check if all items selected have been accounted for following their shop. The technology is so smart, it can even tell when a customer takes an item and then returns it to the shelf, removing the item from their virtual cart if this happens.

The UK stores are particularly impressive, with recent technological advancements meaning that the technology first pioneered in 2018 can now handle customers selecting similar products, such as flower bouquets or magazines, whereas previously such a distinction would have been too difficult.

On top of completely changing the experience for shoppers, the system behind-the-scenes is also streamlined, with an automated inventory management and supply chain purchase, analysing what customers are buying and how much of it, adjusting future purchase orders to stock the correct quantities.



Some corners of society have raised concerns about the technology, calling it “big brother shopping”, with worries that the tracking technology used in stores will take information without permission.

While of course hundreds of cameras that make the experience possible track users through the store, data is only kept for 30 days, with the software using depth sensors and deep learning AI (the same technology used in self driving cars), with no facial recognition included and you can be safe in the knowledge knowing that you can walk into a store without your image or anything else getting into the wrong hands.

And while there may be concerns about privacy, retail experts have hailed the till-less technology as a “watershed moment” in the evolution of purchasing. Soon this won’t be the crazy alternative, it will be the norm. There is however time for the visitor attractions industry to get ahead of the curve and for this industry in particular, such a concept seems like it would be right at home.



Attractions like Disney and Universal aren’t far behind Amazon. They’ve already gimmicked up their chosen method of retail, with the option for customers to use a wrist band to make purchases and skip lengthy queue lines with a tap of the wrist. But why not take that a step further? Why not use a similar technology paired with an app to make shopping a completely seamless experience for customers?

In places like Disney’s Pandora - The World of Avatar or Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, till-less shopping can become a part of the storytelling experience. Rather than going to a till and handing over your dollars, in the case of Star Wars, imagine walking straight out with some costumed character instead letting you know you’ve been charged 200 credits. In the upcoming Star Wars Hotel you could take that even further, with Star Wars items all over the hotel, with a charge coming only if you decide to leave with them.

The possibilities for what you could do with this are endless and in the long run, you would save time, money and significantly improve the customer experience.

And there’s no need to develop your own version, Amazon is offering its Just Walk Out technology as a service to be installed anywhere in the world for any company.

The till-less experience truly puts the convenience in convenience store and it's time for operators like Disney, Universal, Merlin and every other major operator for that matter, to follow suit.


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© Kazoo 5 Limited 2021


About Subscribe Get in touch
 
Home Opinion In depth Video
It’s time for a retail revolution | Planet Attractions

industry

It’s time for a retail revolution

It’s been a landmark few weeks for Amazon, which recently launched its first till-less ‘just walk out’ stores in the UK. The shops remove tills and make retail a completely frictionless experience - something the visitor attractions sector should certainly be looking at




Amazon Fresh recently debuted its till-less shopping experience in the UK   Credit: Amazon

Amazon has been making the headlines in recent weeks, with a new innovation that looks set to change the face of retail as we know it.

Traditional stores have, of course, been improving their technology over the years. Scan as you go is one option in most major supermarkets, while self check out is another. But Amazon’s system is unique in that it removes checkouts altogether.

Already established in the US with 27 stores in the across Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City, Amazon uses several technologies to automate its Go stores, including computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion.

In London, Amazon has advanced the technology and has just launched two Amazon Fresh stores in the Ealing and Wembley parts of the British capital. In these stores, customers scan a smartphone app as they enter and are automatically billed for whatever purchases they make as they leave, eliminating any sort of payment steps traditionally associated with a retail transaction.



For retail, the concept is revolutionary, offering a way to streamline the customer experience like never before. Now all the shopper has to do is walk in, sign in, shop and then leave. It’s never been easier or more frictionless to make a multi-item purchase.

A concern from stores might be system errors, primarily associated with total number of items purchased and people being under or over charged. Amazon isn’t concerned though. In fact, the company is so confident with its technology, that it says its shoppers are under no obligation to check if all items selected have been accounted for following their shop. The technology is so smart, it can even tell when a customer takes an item and then returns it to the shelf, removing the item from their virtual cart if this happens.

The UK stores are particularly impressive, with recent technological advancements meaning that the technology first pioneered in 2018 can now handle customers selecting similar products, such as flower bouquets or magazines, whereas previously such a distinction would have been too difficult.

On top of completely changing the experience for shoppers, the system behind-the-scenes is also streamlined, with an automated inventory management and supply chain purchase, analysing what customers are buying and how much of it, adjusting future purchase orders to stock the correct quantities.



Some corners of society have raised concerns about the technology, calling it “big brother shopping”, with worries that the tracking technology used in stores will take information without permission.

While of course hundreds of cameras that make the experience possible track users through the store, data is only kept for 30 days, with the software using depth sensors and deep learning AI (the same technology used in self driving cars), with no facial recognition included and you can be safe in the knowledge knowing that you can walk into a store without your image or anything else getting into the wrong hands.

And while there may be concerns about privacy, retail experts have hailed the till-less technology as a “watershed moment” in the evolution of purchasing. Soon this won’t be the crazy alternative, it will be the norm. There is however time for the visitor attractions industry to get ahead of the curve and for this industry in particular, such a concept seems like it would be right at home.



Attractions like Disney and Universal aren’t far behind Amazon. They’ve already gimmicked up their chosen method of retail, with the option for customers to use a wrist band to make purchases and skip lengthy queue lines with a tap of the wrist. But why not take that a step further? Why not use a similar technology paired with an app to make shopping a completely seamless experience for customers?

In places like Disney’s Pandora - The World of Avatar or Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, till-less shopping can become a part of the storytelling experience. Rather than going to a till and handing over your dollars, in the case of Star Wars, imagine walking straight out with some costumed character instead letting you know you’ve been charged 200 credits. In the upcoming Star Wars Hotel you could take that even further, with Star Wars items all over the hotel, with a charge coming only if you decide to leave with them.

The possibilities for what you could do with this are endless and in the long run, you would save time, money and significantly improve the customer experience.

And there’s no need to develop your own version, Amazon is offering its Just Walk Out technology as a service to be installed anywhere in the world for any company.

The till-less experience truly puts the convenience in convenience store and it's time for operators like Disney, Universal, Merlin and every other major operator for that matter, to follow suit.


 
© Kazoo 5 Limited 2021