Retail Moves Towards Cashless Model

I was in the mall the other day shopping for a set of work tools, the decision had been totally impromptu as I had only at the last minute decided against calling in the carpenter to come over and take a look at a broken favorite shelf. I was going to take the DIY plunge and do it myself.

But I was caught in a fix. I hadn’t any cash on me to pay for the stuffs I bought and had only realized that at the last minute. I had left my wallet in the car and running back to get it was a task I wasn’t ready to undertake. Sensing my inconvenience, the sale clerk suggest that I use their new digital payment method. It required only my smartphone which fortunately was with me at the time, an app and Wa LA!

I was done!

…This will become a common narrative in a very short while to come.

The digital revolution has crept into the retail space and it is taking no prisoners. Amazon has just launched its offline store aptly tagged “Amazon go”, while almost the same concept but with a more flexible approach is being initiated across select Kroger stores in the country. This new digital payment revolution seeks to cut down wait time in checkout queues by eliminating totally the idea of the physical checkout.

With “Amazon go”, the whole process is made digital from entry through shopping to exit. The app let’s you into the store and as you make purchases, it is digitally entered into your basket, once you are done, the total is calculated and payment is made through the app following which you can then proceed to the exit, out the store. There are no checkout counters and no need for a checkout.

An almost similar process is obtainable with Kroger SBG “Scan Bag Go” but the difference is the presence of checkout staff to handle request that are not app based or powered. With “Scan Bag Go”, Kroger is pushing for a gradual shift much unlike the Amazon model with has totally eliminated the checkout counters in one sweep.

Just as we are reeling in this new development, the winners and losers are taking stocks. The winners here are the customers who would no longer worry about wait time and could actually conclude transactions at their pace, and the company who although made significant investment into the research and final development of the program, would enjoy an upside benefits of lower wages burden and increased efficiency.

The losers as with most shakeups like this a4 the employees, the many who may go out of jobs as the program gains firm roots. The customers love it, the business loves and it is only a matter of time before you find it in the store near you.

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