Here's How Planckly Is Bringing Amazon Go to the Masses
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Digital technology is helping contemporary retail become more streamlined and convenient, as well as allowing brands to offer unique and exciting customer experiences. There are very few elements of Industry 4.0 technology which have failed to find a home in the retail industry.
Whether it's using augmented reality to run treasure hunts and other in-store contests, or using RFID chips and the Internet of Things to display additional product information, there are many ways digital technology is transforming the retail experience. Smart shelving can deliver dynamic pricing while robots trundle around the aisles carrying out real-time inventory checks and alerting flesh-and-blood staff when products need replenishing.
For the uninitiated, Amazon Go represents one of the ecommerce behemoth's first forays into the world of physical retail - specifically the convenience store market.
The technology at the heart of Amazon Go's business model is a completely human-free and checkout-free convenience shopping experience. Customers scan their smartphones when they enter the store and then peruse the aisles as normal. However, they don't place items in a basket or shopping cart, but rather straight into their own bag. The products are all installed with special chips and the shop is equipped with cameras and sensors which can log each time an item is removed from the shelf and not returned.
The products which are placed in the customer's bag are then automatically added to their shopping cart on the Amazon Go app. When they have finished shopping, all they need to do is walk back through the scanners and their account will automatically be charged for the value of their goods.
The advent of Amazon Go has led a lot of other retail brands to break into something of a cold sweat. With Amazon maintaining such a stranglehold on the ecommerce world, its entry into physical retail is naturally a cause for concern.
Many big retailers such as Walmart have introduced their own futuristic store systems in an attempt to answer the challenge posed by Amazon Go, but these can naturally come with the need for a massive infrastructure change - something Planckly is looking to address.
"Cashier-less technology is one of the latest trends in the retail industry," reports SciTech Patent Art. "Retailers are using various technologies to support cashier-less and human-free retail, including machine vision, RFID tags, QR codes, bar codes, facial recognition, and shelf sensors. Dozens of companies are working on this cashier-less technology. The common goal of all these companies is to make in-store shopping attractive and bring the consumers back to the store."
The Planckly solution may not be quite as hi-tech as Amazon Go, but then it's not meant to be. The idea behind Planckly is to create a comparable experience and level of convenience to Amazon Go's service - without the need for massive changes to a retailer's infrastructure.
Planckly is a smartphone app-based system available on Android and iOS devices which allows customers to scan the barcodes of products as they shop. Not only can they add these products straight into their digital shopping cart, but they can also access extra information about the items. In the shopping cart, they can view a breakdown of all the items they've added, a cumulative total, and any discounts which have been applied.
Once the customer has everything they need, they simply pay using the Planckly app which has all their payment details securely stored. If the store allows it, you can even choose to complete the purchase later. You are then free to leave the store, with the app providing a QR code-based receipt which can be shown to a store associate if requested.
Thanks to innovative startups such as Planckly, physical retail still has a lot to offer the modern consumer and can even give Amazon a run for its money. Amazon Go has proven to be a big success, and where the ecommerce giant leads, others are sure to follow.
"Although brick-and-mortar retailers are facing a big threat today from ecommerce, industry studies suggest that brick-and-mortar retail is not actually on a downward trend, but rather it is growing, just more slowly than online retail," concludes SciTech. "Digital transformation could unlock unprecedented opportunities for the retail industry over the next decade. New and disruptive technologies will continue to impact the end-to-end industry value chain, benefitting both the industry and consumers."
Amazon Go and innovative retail technologies are set to be hot topics at Future Stores Miami 2020, taking place in February at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, FL.
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