- Amazon announced it will make available the technology behind Amazon Go
- A first partner has been announced: OTG, a US travel retail company known for its CIBO brand and its airport stores
Amazon Go, the famous cashierless supermarket of Amazon will sell its “just walk out” set of technology to third party retailers. It has rapidly found a first partner with OTG, a travel retail company of 350 restaurants and stores in airports. The deal will be almost immediately active in 2 CIBO expresso gourmet stores.
Consumers will scan their card to enter the store, they will take items on the shelves and “just walk out” and billed. The combinations of sensors, cameras and AI will do the job of recognising which items have been taken, put back and finally chosen by the consumer.
This is a new step toward a technology war between retail giants. What’s really interesting here is that the battle will not be fought store (physical or online) but through other smaller retailers. Amazon is not alone in this strategy to licence its technology to small retailers to help them make their operations seamless: Microsoft and Kroger are developing a set of tools and Starbucks is working with Brighloom to make its famous customer relationship experience available.
One can wonder if by providing tools that manage the relationship with the customer, these giants are not taking away what is the most important and therefore valuable thing in retail. Will operating a store become a “commodity”?