Amazon revealed their new convenience store format built from the ground up in their traditional secrecy. Featuring extensive use of cameras and microphone systems (similar to the technology that allows driverless cars), products being bought are identified and charged to the consumer’s account. These sensors combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence, allow it to distinguish when two people are reaching for the same item based on their skin colour. In other words, WOW technology.
The company has not indicated how many stores they intend to build but they have patented the technology and are famous for taking big risks.
Company founder, Bezos once commented “I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com. Literally,”. “What matters is companies that don’t continue to experiment or embrace failure eventually get in the position where the only thing they can do is make a Hail Mary bet at the end of their corporate existence. I don’t believe in bet-the-company bets.”
There are plenty of examples of incremental improvements in businesses, but Amazon takes a different approach. They define the customer experience first and work backward. Given the strength of the customer with social media tools at their fingertips – maybe it is time to rethink the experience and then define the offer.
One can’t help but wonder if their strategy into small convenience locations has something to do with expanding their pickup and go parcel business at these locations. Seeking means to increase customer convenience while reducing delivery costs are high priorities in their business plan.