- Amazon has announced plans to open a second Amazon Go convenience store in Seattle. The store will be slightly smaller than its first Amazon Go format — 1,450 square feet rather than 1,800 — and will feature a ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack products, along with Amazon Meal Kits.
- Tech Crunch reports menu options will be made by Amazon chefs and local kitchens and bakeries. The new space will stock snacks such as chips, candy, snack bars and locally-made chocolate, along with lunch items such as salads, sandwiches and wraps. There’s no kitchen in the store because of its smaller size, so fresh food will come from a local Amazon kitchen, according to The Seattle Times.
- Like the first Go store, this one’s system includes cameras mounted overhead to track buyers’ movements from every angle. The Amazon Go mobile app, swiped on the way in, automatically charges shoppers for what they put in their carts.
Amazon's Go store format seems to be checking many of the demands on shopper wishlists: convenience, premium quality and tech-driven experience, to name a few. It remains to be seen, however, how the concept will play beyond the retail giant's home base of Seattle.
Amazon's smaller format should appeal to consumers who prefer to make need-based fill-in trips rather than the weekly stock-up visits that have traditionally characterized supermarket shopping, according to Nielsen. The firm finds that globally, 46% of consumers view grocery shopping as a chore and that 10% say they go shopping just for the meal they need on a given day. Large stores will continue to be relevant in specific markets, but the firm noted small stores in high-traffic areas that offer quick in-and-out shopping will continue to grow sales at a faster pace.
Customers also like the convenience of skipping the check-out line, and Amazon Go allows customers to place items in a cart and to be automatically charged — no cashier or self-checkout necessary — with charges reversed if the customer puts items back on the shelf. Similarly, Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go lets shoppers use their mobile phones or special handheld devices to ring up items as they shop, skipping the front end altogether.
Other grocers are moving into the market of checkout-free models as well. San Francisco-based Zippin, for example, was founded by tech experts and opened a cashier-less store in the Bay Area. In a statement, Zippin says its concept uses both overhead cameras and shelf sensors to monitor purchases and to reduce theft, just like Amazon Go. Zippin integrates its own software with current hardware, allowing stores to compete with the likes of the retail giant and its expensive tech.
It would appear Amazon Go fits the needs of a fairly specific community: those looking for convenience and partially prepared in-store foods, those who may be willing to pay more for Whole Foods’ items and those who are comfortable with technology. The good news for Amazon and others moving in this direction is that with millennials and Gen Z coming into their buying power, that market is likely to continue to grow.