GroundBreakers of Brick-and-Mortar: Cashierless Shopping at Amazon Go

In this blog series, we are highlighting brands with brick-and-mortar locations that are implementing new and innovative ways to increase foot traffic to their stores. This month, we’re looking at the largest online retailer, Amazon and their new, physical entities: Amazon Go stores.

What are they doing?

Amazon is expanding beyond their online presence and has opened up several Amazon Go stores in various cities including, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Put simply, Amazon Go is a convenience store with no checkout required. Bloomberg News reported Amazon was considering plans to open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go locations across the United States by 2021.

How does it work?

With technology such as computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, Amazon Go’s stores allow shoppers to simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products they want and leave the store without ever waiting in line to check out. The GroundTruth Marketing team took a trip to their newest location in Manhattan to see what all the hype is about. We were amazed at how simple the buying process is and also pleasantly surprised at how many products were for sale from (smaller) local businesses. For our NY readers, think Dominique Ansel Bakery and Ess-a-bagel goodies. We all grabbed a quick snack, walked out of the store without checking out and received the receipt about a few hours later. Easy as pie!

Why now?

Amazon has already completely disrupted the shopping world by creating an online marketplace where with a click of a button you can shop for basically anything (and receive it the next day!). So it is no surprise that they have set out to change the physical shopping experience as well.

According to GroundTruth’s Value of a Visit study, 48% of shoppers say “Long Lines” is a top factor that prevents them from shopping in-store and 81% say “Quick checkout” is the number one factor that makes in-store shopping better. Amazon has taken the biggest pain point of shopping and developed a technology to eliminate even the thought of it, which has never been done before.

GroundTruth Foot Traffic Insights

Amazon Go Day-of-Week Foot Traffic (Indexed)

15015012012090906060303000SundaySundayMondayMondayTuesdayTuesdayWednesdayWednesdayThursdayThursdayFridayFridaySaturdaySaturdayAmazon Go is a weekday convenience stop, Seeing the most foot traffic on Wednesdays

Amazon Go Time-of-Day Foot Traffic (Indexed)

25025020020015015010010050500012AM12AM1AM1AM2AM2AM3AM3AM4AM4AM5AM5AM6AM6AM7AM7AM8AM8AM9AM9AM10AM10AM11AM11AM12PM12PM1PM1PM2PM2PM3PM3PM4PM4PM5PM5PM6PM6PM7PM7PM8PM8PM9PM9PM10PM10PM11PM11PMLunch TimeShoppers are most interested in shopping at Amazon Go for convenient lunchtime meals
Amazon Go has the highest foot traffic during weekday lunch hours

What’s next?

Is Amazon Go’s Just Walk Out Technology everything customers have been hoping for? Only time will tell if this innovative concept promoting convenience will stick and become a new normal. Amazon is currently only testing this concept in large, urban cities, but is this convenient, app-based way of shopping right for everyone? Using location data, brands can monitor which cities, days and times foot traffic is the highest to gauge adoption and use that knowledge to drive more customers in-store.