Internet has completely changed our shopping habits. Shops are closing down, city centers are desperately looking for new functions while delivery services are racing from door-to-door. Also the food sector has gone through a big change. You can order your grocery online and pick-it up at the supermarket or get it delivered at your doorstep, quality restaurants use foodora, deliveroo and other sites to bring meals right on their guests' dining tables and farmers sell their products through online platforms. But it seems now that there is a desire to go offline again.
In the last months of 2016 many 'new' supermarket concepts were launched. For me the most surprising news was from Amazon, that announced their first real supermarket Amazon Go, planning to open in 2017. Why does a company that is specialised in online sales open a real shop of 1800 square feet (around 170 sqm)?
In the announcement of Amazon Go, it is clear that the e-commerce company wants to use this supermarket to attract regular Amazon-users that don't want loose time on shopping. On sale amongst others freshly prepared lunches and ready to eat meals. So far nothing new. So what is it that makes this supermarket innovative?
Clients of Amazon Go will have to install an app and check-in when they enter the store. Then they can do their shopping as if they were in a normal supermarket. All the products you intend to bring home, can immediately be put in a shopping bag, as there is no need to stand in line for the check-out: all the products you bring home will be registered on the app and the total costs will be debited on your (credit card) account. As simple as online shopping with the advantage that you can touch, smell and compare the wares available
If Amazon succeeds in making this check-out function, I believe this is the real innovation they are introducing and that might become part of their business.
Soon more on Supermarkets of the Future.