Amazon hasn’t been an e-Commerce entity for a while BUT actually an omni-service provider that is one step closer to becoming an omni-lifestyle entity
To me; Amazon Go is a clear indication of the importance of Retail Ecosystems; a topic that I would share my thoughts on in more detail at a later date
But first a quick preview of what Amazon’s future vision of an offline (read: brick-n-mortar) retail experience looks like:
But isn’t Amazon Go all about Offline Innovation?
Absolutely! In fact ever since Amazon Go’s announcement earlier this month, the key focus across the internet has centered around Amazon’s ground breaking innovation; particularly the offline consumer purchase experience
There is no doubt that consumers traversing segments & demographics; especially in the fast paced dense urban lifestyle; would be longing to avoid the checkout counters… henceforth!
Yet again, Amazon has proven that it can not only sing a solo alongside the best of ‘traditional offline’ retailers… but it can very well achieve a ‘triple platinum’ in doing so!
But there is another side to it’s ‘Go retail initiative’ – The multitude of benefits it presents to Amazon itself; extending way beyond than just another channel for Products Sales
3 ways Amazon Go could benefit Amazon
1. Reigning in the elusive Offline Data
Amazon’s promo video makes no secret about the fact that AI & Machine learning are the among the core building blocks in it’s innovative checkout-free, cash-free & queue-free retail experience
Since the ‘dawn of omni-channel’; retailers have been scrambling to figure out how to seamlessly integrate consumer’s shopping behavior data points across channels to create a holistic picture of shopping pattern and ultimately provide a cohesive consumer shopping experience
Though in it’s nascent stage with food category, Amazon may have found the holy grail to integrate the otherwise elusive offline data with it’s treasure trove of online data points
By leveraging it’s Prime platform; Amazon can now close the loop between online & offline purchasing behavior; which will include browsing habits under all conditions (resting on a couch vs. rushing @ lunch hour)
2. Cross-Sells / Up-Sell & Targeted Advertising
AI & Machine learning algorithms; now powered by an comprehensive set of online/offline consumer behavior data should (in theory) enable Amazon to further individualize up-sells, cross-sells & vendor advertising for each of it’s consumer base
Expect Amazon to tightly integrate this newly found rich data & insights across it’s growing services such as Prime, Prime Now, Amazon Restaurants, Prime Pantry to ultimately personalize it’s offerings to each of it’s customers
– So (hypothetically speaking) if there is a correlation to be found for a North Side Chicago resident’s purchase history involving organic small batch skincare (online) and organic sandwich (offline); then Amazon is best placed to ‘join the dots’
3. Show-Rooming – Amazon Style!
– If and when expanded to other product categories (particularly cyclic / discretionary); Amazon could wield it’s Go retail as a powerful Show-Rooming tool – albeit this time benefiting Amazon itself!
Armed with the power of it’s 360 consumer purchasing / intent insights; Amazon could perhaps use it’s (higher ground) position to strike strategic deals with select vendors to promote their products & services in-store
This additional revenue source; though traditional in most sense; would now be based on more robust Big Data/Insights (think: right product, right audience, right place, right channel)
Amazon – one step closer to building an omni-lifestyle ecosystem
It goes without saying that Amazon would also integrate this ‘new found’ offline data & insights with the rest of it’s services including rising star – Alexa – to ultimately become the center of the their customer’s lifestyle
Imagine Alexa being able to suggest a weekend menu, place orders for any missing ingredients, organize it’s pick-up from nearest Go store (via Prime Pantry / Prime Now / self-pickup) and select the right music / movie / book playlist… all based on the user’s preferences, aforementioned past shopping patterns and even perhaps the weather conditions (e.g. extreme winter warning)
Either ways we break it down, Amazon Go (if and when) expanded is not only a revolutionary initiative in promoting checkout-free, cash-less & queue-free experience but also a powerful tool in the realms of big data / insights and it’s subsequent application(s).
Speculations / deductions / insights pertaining to the impact of such this initiative on other retailers, checkout workers, broader retail staffing, robotics & wider consumer base warrants a separate discussion
But for now… it’s organic feta cheese veggie sandwich time!