Right from providing a streamlined omnichannel shopping experience to making massive investments in AI-powered and human-free convenience store, many retailers are rapidly embracing the disruptive technology.
Last few years witnessed a tectonic shift in consumer behaviour. Unlike their predecessors, the modern-day consumers want a smooth, effortless and uncomplicated shopping experience.
Micro Market - A Prelude to the Future Retailing or a Fad
The self-checkout and unmanned micro markets have become one of the significant touchpoints for retailers to leverage the innovative and futuristic technology for consistently smooth consumer experience. With retail czars like Amazon and Walmart making elephantine scale investment in top-notch technologies like AI, deep machine learning and biometrics, it seems the future of unmanned stores is quite promising.
However, like every inventive technology, the concept of the micro-market is marred by apprehensions. Several retail experts are wondering whether the human-free self-serving marketplace can lead a paradigm shift or is it just a fad that holds no substance.
Size and Cost are Major Roadblocks
The present-day Amazon Go and other similar stores are still in the infancy. These stores are relatively smaller and offer just a handful of items like fresh-to-go food. They make an ideal place to grab a few things when you are on the go rather than buying a week’s groceries. It’s because of such limitations that adopting and installing self-checkout and cashless technology across large-sized stores can become a costly affair.
However, considering the monumental and positive response, it is quite apparent that the micro-market isn’t just some fad. In fact, more advancement could lead to a seismic shift in the retail world.
Cash and Data Privacy - Major Concerns
With an increasing number of retailers embracing this technology, several critics of self-checkout kiosk are expressing concern over issues like payment gateways and data security. Stores like Amazon Go accept only virtual payment methods, which becomes a deterrent for people who still prefer cash over other gateways.
Besides, these stores track consumers’ reactions, movements and preferences to determine the overall purchasing behaviour. Retailers use this data to understand and even manipulate the consumer experience to leverage their sales.
Such data collection mechanism has raised concerns about information security and privacy. It becomes essential for the retailers to address the doubts of apprehensive consumers and assure them strict adherence to data security encourage more sales through micro markets.
With Amazon Go announcing its expansion plan, it’s clear that self-checkout technology is all set to change the retail landscape.