Is Amazon Go the answer to improving the shopping experience?

Pioneering technology can restore consumer confidence, but existing apps already offer a far more holistic approach to retail

 Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket, discusses how retailers can rise to the challenges of e-commerce

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Following Amazon’s recent announcement of Amazon Fresh- which provides free grocery deliveries for Prime members- the company has also announced its plans to open at least 30 physical Amazon Go stores across the UK. The stores are made up of fresh food products and are completely cashier-less; they are able to monitor and track what consumers are buying with a series of cameras that view what they are putting in their baskets. Shoppers must first scan their unique barcode on their Amazon Go app to get into an Amazon Go store and are then charged by the items they’re carrying as they leave the store. The innovation means there is no need for cash transactions or payments, as their account will automatically be billed after receiving an email receipt.

While this initiative appears to complete the in-store experience and shows how businesses are transitioning to a new age of retail, there are still concerns in regard to the implications of this technology. In a measure to compete with this style of e-commerce and to adapt to the new retail climate, a number of shops and supermarkets have begun looking to improve the consumer experience for those looking to shop in-store, with many opting to implement retail technology.

Having been used across a variety of supermarkets in the UK, such as EURO Spar and Budgens, the implementation of white-label app Ubamarket has shown the benefit of how in-build technology can assist the sector to streamline the consumer experience. By using the Ubamarket app, supermarkets are able to offer exclusive access to personalised deals and automatic loyalty point collection, aisle sat-nav, in-app payments, and facial recognition will help to rebuild consumer confidence while reducing their spending and shopping time.

Such has been the success of implementing Ubamarket, retailers using the app experienced the following trends:

·         An astonishing 30% uplift in basket size (compared to non-app users)

·         92% customer retention (92% of people who trialled the app continued to use it for future shops)

·         100% loyalty programme uptake from app users, because it is now automatic, whereas 25% forget their loyalty cards

·         300% reduction in queues

Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket, comments on how supermarkets can improve the customer in-store experience and how shops can rise to the challenges of e-commerce:

“Amazon’s Go and Fresh initiatives are incredible steps forward that will help the sector evolve, adapting to a new age of retail. They are brilliant news for those consumers that are not yet comfortable with going out to their local supermarkets and grocery stores due to concerns about the pandemic. However, there are still concerns regarding these initiatives, especially when it comes to the employment of those working in the sector.

In order to adapt to the shifts in the retail sector as well as consumer behaviour, it is important that retailers focus on improving the consumer in-store experience. Retail tech offers an all-encompassing solution; in Ubamarket’s case in the form of a simple app; which can put consumers in control, eliminating time-consuming queues and checkouts, as well as removing confusion about where products are and whether they are in stock. In a tech-supported store, customers can simply check ahead of time which products are in stock, be guided to their exact location with an aisle sat-nav, and then simply scan and pay in-app, rather than having to waste time and risk potentially dangerous exposure in queues or tills. By also offering exclusive access to deals and offers, customers are able to automatically collect loyalty points at their local stores, which enables retailers to monitor consumer behaviour and streamline the customer experience.

If the retailers of the UK can indeed rise to the challenges brought about by e-commerce, we are sure to see the entire sector evolve and develop to reach brand new heights for retailers and consumers alike.”