Welcoming Amazon Go to San Francisco

By Krishna Motukuri - October 24, 2018

It’s been a little over two months since we launched Zippin and opened San Francisco’s first checkout-free store, our concept convenience store in the SOMA district of San Francisco. In that time we’ve been inundated with interest from retailers and real estate owners all over the U.S. and from as far afield as Germany, Korea and Japan.

This week, Amazon Go opened its first store in San Francisco - a move that we welcome wholeheartedly because we believe it will hasten the consumer demand for checkout-free shopping, and encourage other retailers to act swiftly and ensure they’re not left in Amazon’s dust.

Zippin recently conducted a study of over 300 decision-makers for operational retail technology purchases, finding that 74% either strongly - or somewhat - agreed that checkout-free retail is inevitable, a clear sign it’s only a question of when (not if) mass adoption will occur.

What’s driving this train to the future?

For one, we know that people hate standing in line. In fact, according to a report commissioned by Adyen with 451 Research:

“Long lines in stores were one of the biggest and most blatant barriers to a convenient shopping experience. Among consumers who don’t prefer shopping in-store, 55% said it was because they don’t like waiting in line. Nearly half (48%) said anything more than a five-minute wait is too long.”

According to this study, long lines in stores cost retailers a whopping $37.7 billion in sales each year. Shoppers said they either bought the item elsewhere or abandoned the purchase altogether. Against the backdrop of already razor-thin margins, a change is needed.

Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had from the retail industry, along with that from real estate operators looking to provide services to their tenants, it’s simply not tenable to continue to watch these dollars disappear out the door along with disgruntled customers.

In fact, the idea for Zippin came to life because of a personal experience I had trying to buy organic milk for my toddler a couple of years ago. On seeing the crazy long line at the grocery story, I abandoned my mission. But it left me thinking that there had to be a better way.

In our conversations with retailers, it’s clear that not only are they interested in providing a better customer experience by eliminating checkout lines, they are also keenly interested in the other element of Zippin’s value proposition: providing real-time insights into store inventory, and helping to optimize labor costs by deploying staff to more strategic and high-touch customer interactions.

If you’d like to learn more about how your business can quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively deploy frictionless, checkout-free shopping, please contact us for a demo.

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