Amazon has confirmed that they will be opening one of their futuristic Amazon GO stores in New York city at some point in the future. Currently, there are only 3 Amazon Go outlets open for business and they are all in Seattle, in the USA.
Amazon Go is a new shopping concept: the stores are without checkouts. Shoppers scan an app as they enter the premises. And as they take the products that they want in the store, scanners, monitors and cameras record the items. The shopper then freely exits the store and the cost of the goods is taken automatically from their Amazon account.
This new Amazon Go outlet is demonstrative of a few things related to the ecommerce giant. Firstly, that the Amazon Go concept has been proved. Originally, the trials of technology were not entirely successful with the shop not accurately recording what was being bought. These teething troubles would now appear to have been successfully rectified if the NYC opening is put in context.
Secondly, Amazon appears increasingly willing to expand its reach with bricks and mortar establishments and is no longer simply an online retailer and marketplace. In addition to these shops, it also has the network of Whole Foods stores numbering in the hundreds and several bookshops too in metropolitan areas.
The challenge is to effectively utilise both online and offline presences. It’s been apparent with the Whole Foods developments that offering perks to shoppers as part of Amazon Prime has been successful and boosted both elements of the business.
And obviously physical locations in city centres offer useful opportunities for the collection of goods online and also facilitate returns more easily.
It is a tantalising possibility that these robotic, automatic shops could also be expanding at some point outside of the United States and, perhaps, become a familiar sight on British High Street. But probably not any time very soon.