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BizReport : Ecommerce : February 01, 2018

Amazon Go is open for business, what that means for retailers

Amazon Go is officially a go, and with the first brick-and-mortar store doors open. The 'stores' boast thousands of items, no product on shelves, virtual check-outs, and delivery of the items ordered. One expert offers his take on the new experience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What impact might the Amazon Go format have on other retailers?

Brent Franson, CEO, Euclid Analytics: Let's be clear: this model is simply not workable for all retailers. Humans are social creatures. We might want every store - from Macy's to Dollar General - to make it easier and faster to check out (no one, repeat, no one likes waiting in line). But we do generally value human interaction, especially in the Nordstroms, Barnes and Nobles, and Targets of the world. This is why you see Apple, Best Buy, and even Dollar General investing in people, not technology for technology's sake. Retailers who remember the human side of the equation will ultimately be successful even in a post-mobile, post-Amazon world.

Kristina: What are the benefits of this kind of model?

Brent: That said, there might be one exception where similar stores might work. The Amazon Go model is fairly perfect because - like convenience stores - it's super transactional. If you're running in to a 7-11 to grab Advil or diapers, you're not looking to linger and the retailer's not overly focused on getting you to stick around. The value prop here is get in/get out as efficiently as possible. The premium is on product availability and ease of checkout, not the availability of super-knowledgeable, helpful sales associates.

Kristina: What are your thoughts on Amazon Go?

Brent: Amazon gets all the credit for developing a store run nearly entirely by technology; it's an incredible feat. But once someone blows over the physical and technical hurdles of an impossible task, they've smashed the mental barriers holding everyone else back too. The impossible is now possible.

Tags: Amazon Go, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, Euclid Analytics, retail trends

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