By Jeff Adair, Editor
Convenience services operators can’t afford to sit still as
and a host of other technology providers introduce automated convenience stores.
Amazon Go, an unattended store that uses artificial intelligence, biometric identification, smart shelf technology and cameras, allows shoppers to take items from shelves and exit without having to check out. The shopper's credit card is charged as they leave the store. Since Amazon Go debuted in late 2016, technology companies with similar concepts have emerged, five of which explained their benefits during a session at the recent NRF Big Show in New York City.
The unattended stores are similar to micro markets, the difference being that where a micro market sits inside of a building, the unattended store is usually a building unto itself. Some of the technologies presented during the NRF show could, however, be used in micro markets.
Amazon Go was cited as a competitive factor to vending and refreshment services during a technology panel discussion at the 2017 National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) show in Las Vegas. Some vending machines on display at the NAMA trade show demonstrated similar “intelligent shelf” capabilities.