Retailers becomes fully automate stores where sensors and artificial intelligence have replaced cashiers. More technology driven businesses like Amazon Go may be coming to them.
The world’s top retailers and small tech start-ups are motivated to minimize shoppers’ frustrations and labor cost. They are also trying to prevent Amazon from dominating the physical retail world as it does online shopping.
Companies are testing robots that help keep shelves stocked, as well as apps that let shoppers ring up items with a smartphone. If they succeed, these new technologies could be advantage to the development of retail market.
Retailers had adopted technologies in their stores long before Amazon Go arrived on the scene. Self-checkout kiosks have been common in supermarkets and other stores for years. Kroger, the grocery chain, uses sensors and predictive analytics tools to better anticipate when more cashiers will be needed.
At 120 of Walmart’s 4,700 American stores, shoppers can also scan items, including fruits and vegetables, using the camera on their smartphones and pay for them using the devices. When customers walk out, an employee checks their receipts and does a “spot check” of the items they bought.
In the United States, venture capitalists put $100 million into retail automation start-ups in each of the past two years, according a financial data firm.