Amazon has a knack for moving into new vertical segments and then applying its logistical mastery and economies of scale to carve out margins and undercut incumbents. Then, it doubles down by scaling things up to its signature high-volume/low-margin approach. As Jeff Bezos ruthlessly admits, “Your margin is my opportunity.”
The latest place for this to unfold is retail. No, we’re not talking about Whole Foods, though that’s part it (more on that in a bit). We’re talking about Amazon’s transformation of the in-store experience — upending and streamlining logistics just like it’s done in shipping and cloud computing.
Here are some predictions for how Amazon’s disruption of retail via licensing of its Go technology will upend the industry.
This time, it’s not Amazon Web Services, the cloud underpinning Amazon’s operations and those of other companies around the world, but Amazon’s Go technology that is being peddled to new clients. Bezos’ e-commerce behemoth is in talks to sell the flashy cashierless solution to movie theaters and airports, CNBC reported.
If Amazon is successful, the play to sell Go to other businesses may some day turn what now appears a revolutionary technical advance (with potentially devastating consequences for cashiers) into a commonplace asset. Just as AWS, the B2B play partially financing Amazon’s low-margin retail biz, supports thousands of businesses unbeknownst to their customers, Go-as-a-service could come to change all of retail without many consumers even realizing Amazon is behind changing checkout norms.
If autonomous checkout systems ever go mainstream, it will be because retailers finally figured out how to effectively harness in-store cameras to determine where customers are and what items they’re holding in real-time. Reaching that goal has proven elusive to AI technology providers thus far, but a San Francisco-based startup called Standard Cognition is hoping that its recent acquisition of Explorer.ai, a mapping and computer vision firm, will be the catalyst that’s necessary to accelerate growth and expand into new retail verticals.
Microsoft and Kroger are teaming up, challenging Amazon’s dominance in grocery innovation and pushing back against its takeover of an increasing number of corporate verticals, including cloud infrastructure in the form of Amazon Web Services. (Street Fight’s Mike Boland has predicted that Amazon will sell its grocery tech just as it’s done with AWS, taking an in-house innovation and transforming it into a cash cow.)
Mike Boland: The innovation including and surrounding cashierless checkout goes beyond payments to affect a broader set of functions like supply chain, inventory management, and store layouts. It’s like a retail toolkit in a box, with cash-flow friendly pricing, à la SaaS. You may have heard of it: It’s called retail as a service (RaaS), and it could transform the next decade of retail. Amazon will lead the way.
Every two or three weeks, we round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech. This edition also includes funding for SalonHQ and Sojern.
On this week’s edition of the Location-Based Marketing Association show: Standard Cognition, GOAT sneakers, NomadX at Plaza Singapura, Amazon’s Holiday Catalogue, Nike’s futuristic store, H&M testing blockchain.
Standard Cognition offers a product called Standard Checkout that retrofits cashier-based grocery stores into cashierless systems. Unlike the new cashierless Amazon Go, Standard Cognition is not a grocery chain itself, but instead a solution for chains that compete with Amazon Go, co-founder and COO Michael Suswal told Street Fight.
Street Fight Daily: Fact Checking Some Location Targeting Claims, Amazon Go Officially Has Competition
TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING… Location Targeting is Nothing Without the Facts to Back it Up… Standard Cognition Is First Amazon Go Rival to Unveil Deal with Stores… SendtoNews Aims to Guarantee Brand Safety for Advertisers…
Every two or three weeks, we round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech. This week’s edition includes funding for Mention Me, Standard Cognition, Cogito, and Dialpad.
Every two weeks, we round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech. This week’s edition includes funding for Omnyway, Crosser, and Allset.