In our Food Debrief, PSFK looks at the ways new technologies are enabling an era of faster payment and customer convenience
If you haven’t heard it, there’s a 20-ton bulldozer tearing down the wall between online and offline retail: its name is Amazon. With the launch of their Amazon Go concept store, the e-commerce giant is innovating in the space of physical retail it has long been accused of destroying. The move back to brick-and-mortar signals a new era where—like in many of our own lives—the line between online and off no longer exists.
In our latest trends report, The Food Debrief, PSFK examines how grocers and other retailers are capitalizing on advancements in mobile, automated and cloud-connected technologies to better serve customers and get them out of the door more quickly. The importance of that last point can’t be overstated. People hate waiting in line. Two-thirds of customers cite long queues at checkout as their biggest shopping frustration, according to a 2017 survey by Capgemini Consulting.
Now, with inferred payment systems, the hassle of waiting in line is totally removed. Ambient payment options track cart balances as customers shop, find and apply rewards, and automate transactions as they leave. This not only makes the shopping experience easier and more pleasant, it simplifies customer loyalty programs and maintains an ongoing profile of their behaviors.
At Amazon Go, Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar supermarket currently being piloted in Seattle, there is no need for cashiers or checkout lines. Using computer vision, integrated sensors and deep-learning technologies, Amazon can track items and charge customers for what they take as they walk out of the store. The technology is advanced enough to know not only when you take items, but even when you put them back if you change your mind.
South Korean department store conglomerate Lotte, meanwhile, is incorporating self-service into its stores in another nifty way. Customers at Lotte department stores are given scanners when they enter a shop and can simply scan items they want to purchase. A self-service kiosk reads the shopper’s scanner and further streamlines the process by delivering items directly to customers’ homes. This makes it easier for shoppers to continue browsing at other locations without getting weighed down carrying bags or waiting in line for checkout.
PSFK’s Food Debrief explores how grocery retailers are revolutionizing proactive and responsive convenience for their customers, setting a frictionless standard for all consumer-facing industries. Download the full report here, or request a meeting for your office. For full access to all of PSFK’s reports, debriefs, articles and archives, become a PSFK Member today.
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