31 May Amazon Go may be coming to the UK sooner that you thought
After the buzz in last December when the first Amazon Go video was released, Amazon started searching for shop space in central London as part of its move into the physical grocery market. New signs are confirming that Amazon Go may arrive in the UK this year.
The rumors of an Amazon Go store in the UK
Those strong rumors that Amazon will launch Amazon Go in the UK seem now to be confirmed as the UK Intellectual Property Office has approved the company’s application to trademark the slogan ‘No lines. No checkout. (No, seriously.)’.
The trademark above had been filed by Amazon on May 11th and published 8 days later. Amazon also filed applications to trademark to similar slogans such as “Every queue is a defect”, “Every Line is a defect“,”No queue. No checkout. (No seriously.)”. Because those are the same slogans Amazon used when it announced its Amazon Go launch last December, it makes us believe that it confirms its UK ambitions.
At the moment, Amazon has launched Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and Amazon Prime in the UK. The promise of Amazon GO is to avoid payment friction and other retailers in the grocery sector are already working on new ”painless” shopping experiences.
Competitors work on new payment options
In order to stay competitive, the big UK grocery players try to innovate regarding payment options. Sainsbury’s developed its SmartShop app, which allows users to make shopping lists at home using their smartphones, create a personalized store navigation guide for the listed products, scan products using their phone and then pay using mobile at dedicated check-out points.
Tesco’s PayQwiq mobile payment app also help to move towards a more ”frictionless” and ”painless” shopping experience. By using this app, customers are enabled to store their debit card details as well as Tesco’s Clubcard details on their phones. After completing their shop, PayQwiq users can present their mobile phone at the checkout, where the cashier will scan a code to instantly take payment.
Finally, Waitrose launched in August last year its first cashless store. This move to abandon cash in one of its stores came after on-the-go food retailer – Tossed, opened two cashless restaurants in London earlier in 2016.
There are also start-ups developing cashless solutions for retailers such as Focal Systems. The company deploys a computer vision technology via an easy-to-use tablet mounted on shopping cart handle-bars (see the video below). It enables customers to see promotions, navigate easily in store and enjoy an automated checkout. This solution is highly interesting for retailers as it does not require any store alteration and also a great advantage for consumers as they do not need to use smartphones to complete their purchases. Furthermore, it is always a hurdle for retailers to get their mobile apps downloaded (consumers typically only spend 5% of their time on their phones in shopping apps).
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