22 May MOBILE APPLICATIONS ARE THE NEW CASHIERS AND RECEPTIONISTS
The era of total absence of counters in stores is at the forefront and will be the third major revolution in retail after the invention of the cash machine in 1879 and the introduction of the credit card in transactions by Bank of America in 1958.
For businesses, the benefits are obvious and economical, since a store without cashiers has lower operating costs. For buyers, the new experience ensures fast service, free of queues and waiting at the counters. If they change their mind, they can simply remove a product from their shopping list.
Amazon was the first that opened the Amazon Go Stores – a first-of-a-kind concept in Seattle, and then in Chicago and San Francisco, where the customer selects and buys the product they want without waiting in queues and counters. The whole process is completed using a mobile application. Specifically, to enter the shop a customer, scans a code through the Amazon Go application on his smartphone. Beyond that, the special cameras in the store recognize each customer who enters and records the products he will take with him. As soon as he leaves the store, the total amount of purchases is deducted from his account via a mobile application. According to estimates, Amazon will open more than 2.000 Go Stores by 2021.
Sainsbury, one of Britain’s largest supermarket chains, also follows similar steps, launching its first store at the Holborn Circus in London, also without any counters. Customers will do their shopping and then “scan” the products chosen, paying for their purchases via mobile application.
For the smooth adjustment of the audience, a support desk has been installed for buyers who want to pay with cash or cards. According to Sainsbury, the first days of operation show that 82% of transactions in the store took place with the use of application.
In contrast to this digital development is the upcoming devaluation of the counter profession in retail stores, banks, and the receptionists at hotels and the decrease of people working in these sectors.