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Is this the future of bricks and mortar retail?

     
7:01 pm on Dec 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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No till, no cashiers, no pesky unreliable barcodes to scan, just register with your smartphone as you enter the store, pick any items you want, and as you leave, it automatically bills you to your account.

[telegraph.co.uk...]

There is one downside (some may see it as an upside) I see straight away in that there's no interaction. No friendly, or unfriendly store staff. The checkouit operators become redundant. Some of that has already happened with self-service checkouts.

Too easy to spend money this way, too.
8:56 pm on Dec 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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part of me thinks - absolutely awesome!

another part of me is deeply concerned about jobs ... not for the clever members of WebmasterWorld, but as every (so-called) unskilled job goes where are new ones being created?

... on a technical point, as i walk around my local convenience store i see accompanied kids taking things off shelves all the time, i wonder how they'll deal with that, and couples shopping together - who pays for what? ... another step forward though ... i applaud their innovation.
1:00 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Jobs will be created taking care of the electronic shelving. You ever watch a vendor load product onto a shelf? If a cash register is down you go to the next check out line. If isle 2 is down i guess you don't buy anything on isle 2?
3:05 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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IT's a small sample, but if this experience is anything like the one I observre where people are trying to pay via smartphone in a cafe or store, I dunno, might not be ready for prime time.

Certainly wouldn't be the shopping experience for me.

Bricks and Mortar = touch, feel the merchandise and talk to the shopkeeper or staff.
3:18 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Driven concerns are accuracy of the transaction, completion of sale, and reporting (income, revenue, taxes, inventory control, hours, etc). If that can all be accomplished by boinking with a smartphone management and procurement will be happy. Doubt few others will be leaping for joy.

We may be getting closer to the Terminator movies. :)

However, there are way too many pluses possible to not explore this customer interaction. Brick and mortar is where the rubber meets the road, where enterprise and consumer meet and greet, and anything that makes that work better is something to be examined.

But I will miss it, the sitting around the apple barrel debating the merits of x over y and the shop owner happy to give up space to noise makers who buy "onceinawhile".
3:48 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Amazon just opened a grocery store without a checkout line
My neighbor doesn't even go to the store. She chooses her groceries on-line with a mobile app, then Amazon delivers them to her door within an hour she says. That seems even better.
4:13 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Privacy issues? Everything you buy gets recorded, item by item.

What advantage does it have over online shopping?

Any errors in recording who took what will be problematic.
8:22 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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generally agree with you graeme_p

regarding What advantage does it have over online shopping? ... i think they are different markets, this system is ideal for office workers nipping out in their break to buy a snack.
9:06 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This is a trial store, and i'm sure it'll have problems as well as offering advantages. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out once the trial is concluded, and I would be surprised it'll be going away.

For a certain type of customer it'll be great, and for others it'll be an unpleasant experience. For example, as topr8 says, it'll suit a young office worker in a rush to buy their lunch or evening meal: It's a convenience store. For others, such as the elderly, it'll feel like a cold, unfriendly place where they don't get to speak to anyone.

Personally, I prefer the human interaction, but I do appreciate the convenience. Most often i'll avoid the self-scan checkout and go to the operator checkout.
9:58 am on Dec 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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BTW the app I mentioned above is "Amazon Prime Now One Hour Shopping"

I've also noticed that my local 7-Eleven has a wall of Amazon Prime lockers for product deliveries.

I guess Amazon is trying to cover all the ways to shop. If one method doesn't appeal to you, they have another.
2:42 pm on Dec 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I was speaking to someone about this concept yesterday and they welcomed the idea as innovation, however, the first thing they commented is what will all the store staff do? Will they be required? What happens if something goes wrong? Do you have to contact the support department online.
3:10 pm on Dec 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Some of that has already happened with self-service checkouts.


This reminds me if a situation a few weeks ago. Standing in line with about 6 other people in a fairly well-known store in the UK (Sainsburys) there were 2 automatic checkouts and 2 people serving, a friendly member of staff suggested "Would you like to go to the self-checkout" at that point everyone in line said "NOOOOO". A young girl at the front then asked "why suggest that when they are stealing your jobs".

I see it as progress, but not because it provides a better customer experience, simply because it reduces costs.

Mack.
3:58 pm on Dec 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Will it reduce costs? Tech support will have to be present to fix glitches. Whats cheaper, inperson tech support or minimum wage clerks?

a lot of name brand products are stocked by vendors who work for the name brands. I have a friend who tried his hand a being a wine vendor. He was there first thing in the morning so his brand of wine was well supplied and out front. His sales dropped so he checked into it. After he left the store, a competitor showed up and moved his wine to the back and put theirs in front of his. Turns out there are brand wars taking place in the store.

If my wife got home and found out she was charged for a different and higher priced bottle, she would not go back. Likewise, if the store charges for a lower priced bottle the store loses out.

It will be a while before the human element can be eliminated.
5:42 pm on Dec 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Privacy issues? Everything you buy gets recorded, item by item.
You don't think that already happens if you buy online? Or in-person with a rewards card or even a credit card?

part of me is deeply concerned about jobs
Just like a lot of manufacturing jobs, those unskilled jobs are on their way out. (Especially with more demand for higher minimum wages.) There may be a few left for Customer Service reps if you have a winning personality and like interacting with people more than your smartphone (but that number is dwindling as well!).
11:15 pm on Dec 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Some of that has already happened with self-service checkouts
This may be only a local phenomina, but 2 large markets in my area have switched back a couple of their self-service checkouts to full service. This also may be a seasonal change to accomodate larger crowds.
5:19 am on Dec 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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A local chain of quick shopping convenience stores has 3 self-serve checkouts and one human register. The human register is the only place you can buy cigarettes for those wanting them. Lottery tickets are at a vending machine.

At busy times they need no extra humans up front in the same space as 4 registers. Been there at times when there were 4 queues several persons long moving very fast compared to an all human place. A human still watches the store at all times with no idle humans milling about during slack times. Seems like a good compromise.

I buy stuff there with 100% pocket change, something that irritates most humans. Tonight their technology had a headache, only one self serve was working.
 

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