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Amazon to Offer Checkout-Free Shopping to Rival Stores

06 December 2018 - 11:12 by Mike Price

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After dominating the world of shopping online for so long, Amazon has turned its attention to the bricks and mortar market in recent years, even launching its own range of convenience outlets.

What makes these stores stand out is that there is no checkout: customers simply walk in, take the products they want and walk out. Payment is handled online via their Amazon account, and it is intended to make the real-world retail experience as frictionless as possible.

Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon could share this technology with other high street operators, perhaps spelling the end of the traditional checkout experience altogether.

Even the need for self-service checkouts would be eliminated if the service, known as Amazon Go, were embraced by other brands.

While this may be bad news for staff working on the shop floor, it could be great news for retailers that have seen footfall decrease steadily and are looking to rectify this by overhauling the way that customers shop.

Of course, Amazon is not the only company to offer a bricks and mortar retail experience that does not involve any form of checkout. Supermarket chains like Tesco and Sainsbury’s are working with separate systems, albeit ones which still require customers to scan the barcodes of products they want to buy using their smartphones.

It is the technologically prowess and monetary might of Amazon which helps to put it ahead of the pack in terms of its in-store retail solutions. Unlike incumbent high street chains, it began life in the fast-paced world of the web and so is better able to adapt its services to physical retail stores rather than having to retrofit fresh solutions into an existing infrastructure that has been built up over decades.