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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wharton Podcast on Amazon Go

Will Amazon Go Capture the Holy Grail of Retail?

Amazon’s new cashier-less convenience store aims to answer one of retail’s thorniest challenges: Understanding why shoppers do what they do, and leveraging that knowledge into increasing sales.

Wharton's Barbara Kahn and Emory's Ryan Hamilton discuss the Amazon Go convenience store.

Even before it opened, Amazon Go began drawing deep skepticism over whether it could possibly work. Would Amazon be able to create a convenience store in which shoppers gathered their goods and walked out the door having been automatically charged for their purchases? The technology behind it — like driverless cars — has captured the public’s imagination. A reporter from The New York Times staged a shoplifting heist with a four-pack of vanilla soda around the time the store opened in Seattle last month, and failed. The Amazon Go technology worked, and he got charged for the soda. Others have, though, managed to outsmart the system.

But as shoppers gauge the gee-whiz aspects of the store and convenience of not having to wait in line, Amazon is sharply focused on the shopper. The company is always watching. More than 100 cameras in the 1,800-square-foot store are capturing shoppers’ every move to total up the purchase, but that’s just the start.

Amazon isn’t saying what its plans are for Amazon Go — whether the company will roll out dozens more soon, or exactly how the store serves a greater corporate strategy. But many say that by recording shopper behavior at such a detailed level and being able to analyze it, Amazon is hot on the trail of the Holy Grail of retail: really understanding why shoppers do what they do .... "

1 comment:


After reading the article, and buying from Amazon for a number of years, I believe Amazon knows something about retail. I also believe there will be some disruption in retail brought about by Amazon.