At the end of January this year, Amazon opened its first cashierless convenience store in Seattle. The store is equipped with the technology to track shoppers and charge them for what they select, eliminating the need for checkout counters (and their lines). While Amazon is anticipating changing the in-store shopping experience in much the same way as it has online shopping, the change will not be immediate. In fact, the process is expected to take years before it can be applied to bigger stores with their far greater complexity. One downside that I can see is that the Seattle experiment relies on customers scanning their phones into the system as they enter the store. There are older customers who don’t utilize smart phones and still others that are now deciding to jettison their phone use altogether – I heard a colleague last week say that he hadn’t carried a phone with him in six years – this, in response to Google’s ability to track every smartphone user, everywhere.
So, what about you – what’s your thinking on the experimental convenience store technology and its personal use?