In a previous article we looked at the future of shopping centres, including Metro’s Future Store and Vita’s Store of the Future. We also looked at Tesco’s home plus store and Amazon’s new home shopping service. Which of these retail models will take the retail industry by storm? Read on to find out. We have also included a look at how self-service can improve our daily lives. What are we waiting for?
Metro’s Future Store
The first phase of Metro’s Future Store is complete with 30,000 electronic price labels. Each product on the Future Store’s shelves has its own digital price tag, and self-scan check-outs are equipped with RFID tags, which act as talking barcodes. Another exciting part of the Future Store is a plasma advertising screen that displays multi-media information about products. A WLAN connection also enables staff to quickly scan a customer’s hand for alcoholic beverages or drugs.
Vita’s store of the future
Albert Vita, a former director of innovation at Home Depot, created a vision for a store of the future. This retail concept was inspired by the idea of “more home, less depot.” Home improvement stores are notoriously impersonal, with sprawling aisles and a concrete-steel aesthetic. But Vita’s store of the future removed the customer experience desk and instead redesigned the store with an island-like pod where associates could interact with customers belly-to-belly. It featured built-in snack shelves, too.
Amazon’s home plus
The new technology will allow shoppers to buy groceries online using a QR code, assemble their virtual shopping cart, and have their items delivered to their door within hours. The company’s first three months saw 10,000 consumers using the service and a 130% increase in online sales. But Amazon is still hesitant to discuss the opening dates of its future Go stores. Here’s what you should know. It is not yet known whether the service will be available in every region.
Tesco’s home plus
The concept of a future store for the company’s Homeplus brand is not new. A Tesco Homeplus store is similar to a Walmart supercenter or mini mall, but is operated independently. The brand also has an online store, as well as an express format store. Tesco is hoping to leverage the internet to increase sales, and hopes to entice consumers to shop there. But what is the best way to attract consumers to the new store?
It’s easy to see how Amazon’s Alexa could help store customers. It’s already able to lock and unlock a home remotely, play music in the car, and recommend TV shows to watch after work. Alexa also understands human speech and can give you a touch screen shortcut to perform the actions you want. In the future, these abilities will allow you to perform a variety of tasks through voice commands.
Amazon’s machine learning algorithms
As an e-commerce giant, Amazon is embracing machine learning to improve the efficiency of its stores. Its current store automation technology only applies to brand-new and purpose-built stores, and the company has no plans to retrofit other stores with the same technology. Because the company collects data from a limited number of sources, the algorithm’s learning will be less generalizable than that of other stores.
Amazon Go is an innovative self-checkout store that knows your preferences and leads you to products you’ll like. According to the National Retail Federation, the checkout-free phenomenon will dominate the retail landscape by 2021. Its newest version, Amazon Go, is a 1,800-square-foot mini-market that sells both convenience store and Whole Foods items. A tour of Amazon Go will allow you to see how it works, as well as the new technologies that make it stand out from the rest.