Recently, news broke that Amazon planned on rolling out cashier-less technology in a large retail store in Seattle. Cashier-less technology works fine at Amazon Go convenience stores, but large retail stores present problems. Massive numbers of people, high ceilings, long aisles, and more create troubles for the “grab and go” software system. Testing at a Seattle location may lead to working out those bugs. Cashier-less technology might come to the Amazon-owned grocery chain Whole Foods. That’s not all. Rumors now persist, if the tech proves successful, Amazon may license the technology to others.
The licensing of cashier-less technology could become a game changer in the retail world. Retail stores currently experience declining sales due to consumer trends towards online purchasing. Ironically, Amazon could send these retail stores a lifeline. Amazon, eBay, and other online sellers contributed to the doom of brick-and-mortar retail establishments.
Years ago, people started wondering why they should spend time and money visiting a retail store when purchasing merchandise on a computer made things easier. The arrival of apps and smartphones further enhanced the sales process. Retail stores exist on a weak foundation these days. Cashier-less technology, however, could draw customers back to the shops.
Cashier-less technology allows customers to take things from a shelf, walk out, and then receive a charge on their credit cards. A unique software/scanning system facilitates the process. With no more waiting in line, customers won’t suffer delays or inconveniences.
Licensing out the software would expand cashier-less technology to retailers across various industries. Amazon would then reap financial rewards. Licensing requires paying a fee for the use of the technology. Just as Amazon sends out packages to those with demand for various products, Amazon might reap profits through issuing software licenses to stores. The stores then save money providing customers with a faster experience.
Right now, smaller merchants could be the big winners. Smaller stores — like Amazon Go locations — work better with the tech. Small business owners facing competition from big stores would benefit from the tech.
Cashiers, however, face being the big losers when this technology rolls out. And yes, the technology will become commonplace in stores across the globe. Technological driven progress doesn’t always impact everyone in a positive manner.