Shopping without checkouts is closer to becoming a reality

This week, Amazon announced its most advanced shopping technology Amazon Go where technology used in self-driving cars (computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning algorithms) is being applied create a Just Walk Out Shopping experience with no lines and no checkout. Customers simply use an app on their phone as they enter the store, take the products they want, and go.

Think about this for one minute – what does this mean for your business if you have a business model which includes customers coming into your store and leaving via a checkout. No more checkouts (and no checkout operators). Customers don’t waste time waiting in a line to pay for what they want. Your business can focus more on sales/marketing and connecting with their customers in your store in other ways rather than administering the collection of money from the customer.

While Just Walk Out Shopping is still new, and Amazon Go won’t be opening until early 2017, this is coming. Once any kinks are worked out, I can see this technology filtering out into businesses much the same way EFTPOS has. If your business sells product and has a checkout where people wait to be served, this technology will impact you and those you employ to take care of the checkout. It may not be an issue right now, but Amazon has the resources to make this work, so rest assured – checkout-less retailing is definitely coming.

This is just one example of technology impacting business. There are many more new technologies being explored every day. You may or may not have been aware of this and at this point, it’s nothing you need to do anything about other than keeping an eye on it if you have a checkout system.

Even though this may be a few years away from becoming mainstream, the question is … are you aware of what’s changing around you and your business? I know your business is probably pulling you in every direction so it can be a challenge finding the time to step back from your business to work on your business. But if you’re running your business without keeping an eye on what’s changing around you, you’re effectively flying blind (and inevitably will crash into the mountain).

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