It’s no secret that shopping has changed drastically over the last decade.
We are seeing more and more brick and mortar stores closing because people prefer to shop online. Even grocery stores are starting to take a hit because we can just order meal kits that show up on our door step every week or have our favorite restaurant deliver our food to us at the click of a button on our phones. So, what’s next? How can shopping become even easier for us? After all, convenience is a major priority these days.
It’s called the Amazon Effect. Since launching in 1994, Amazon has completely changed how we shop and look at convenience. Now if our online order doesn’t come with free shipping and arrive at our doorstep in 2 days, we think that’s absurd! “Pay $4.99 for shipping and it arrives in 3-5 business days? No way! I bet Amazon has it.” You know you have done this numerous times and think of all the business lost from other retailers because of it.
Amazon has now thrown a new curve ball at the retail industry. Introducing Amazon Go, a free-standing grocery store where you download an app, scan your phone when you walk in the door and everything you buy is automatically added to your Amazon cart and your saved credit card is charged when you walk out the door. Also known as “just walk out technology.” No checkout lines, no interaction with store employees, and no point of sale.
There are only 9 of these stores in major cities now, but you can expect these to start popping up around you more and more in the next few years. So obviously grocery retailers are starting to worry how this will affect their sales, especially after seeing how Amazon has changed how consumers shop for other goods. Look at Toys R Us, for example. The toy store giant closed after more than 60 years in business because they were losing sales to online stores like Amazon.
Walmart is already trying to compete with this by launching Sam’s Club Now, powered by their new shopping app and its only a matter of time before other retailers begin to follow suit.
So, how does this change how we shop in the future and the traditional point of sale? In order to stay relevant, it is more important than ever to focus on what consumers are craving. They want convenience, very little interaction, speed of service and everything accessible right at their fingertips, i.e. their mobile phone. As a result, app development will continue to increase and become a priority for retailers and software integration partners that can help tie this all together will become a necessity.
Keep in mind, the modern-day consumer is looking for an experience. If you don’t offer self-checkout, accept mobile wallet payments, offer online ordering and delivery, you may want to start looking into how to implement this…fast! It is now more important than ever that you build brand relevance and really connect with your customers.