VIDEO | The Future of Food: Exploring checkout-free stores


Today we’re launching The Future of Food, a three-part video series, which explores how the grocery sector is likely to change in the next few years.  For the first episode, we spoke to industry expert and Swinburne University professor Jason Pallant about the rise of checkout-free stores, what they can offer the sector, and the barriers they need to overcome to succeed. Check out the full video below. What do we stand to gain? While the technological investment needed to launch a chain o

launch a chain of checkout-free stores could be quite significant, those retailers that begin to adopt this style of store stand to experience some significant benefits, Pallant argued.

“There are a few potential benefits here. One, which we may not think about too much, is the data and insights these kinds of models can provide,” Pallant told Inside Retail. 

“Anytime that a retailer is using a more technological or digital solution, this is creating more data for that retailer. If you think about the [Amazon Go] model: you walk into the store and have to identify yourself. Even that data in and of itself is a valuable resource.

“Then when you add in data around what the customer is scanning and putting in their shopping cart, you can gather insights around their browsing behaviour even before they buy something.”

This data can be incredibly powerful when tied with a retailer-held customer ID, allowing it to ping them with deals on things they’ve physically browsed by not purchased, or reminding them of products they’ve purchased the next time they shop, for example. 

Checkout-free stores also open up the potential for new and innovative ways of designing stores. If space doesn’t need to be taken up by checkouts, what else could be implemented to improve the store experience?

One downside to this technology is the impact it could have on store staff – both externally and internally. 

“You’ll see some brands looking at this as a cost-cutting measure, and saying they don’t need as many checkout staff […] but we’ve seen that isn’t necessarily the case,” Pallant continued. 

“People need help using these new technologies […] and there’s research that shows that if we can compel staff through technology like this, we can actually increase the level of service that they can provide [to customers].”

By using automation such as checkout-free technology to free up store staff, they are able to focus on providing a better level of service to each customer that enters the store, rather than being tied to the registers on a busy day.

Big Brother 

Beyond the possibility that retailers would use this technology to cut staff, there’s another risk – customers who don’t want to engage.

One of the key issues customers could see with an automated, identifying technology tracking their every move while in store would be around their data, their privacy, and what’s being recorded.

And with the glut of data breaches seen in the past six months, there’s reason for them to be suspicious.

“If we want consumers to use these technologies, we need to be able to convince them that it’s safe and secure to do so,” Pallant said. 

“There’s a really, really important crossroads, and I think we really need to start thinking about security and privacy as differentiators, rather than viewing them as something that retailers have to do [in order to get customer data].”

If you enjoyed this excerpt of our first episode, feel free to give the full video a watch above. 


Source link

Comments are closed.