Open to a Fresh Experience

Added: Andrei Mullaney - Date: 09.03.2022 22:48 - Views: 23696 - Clicks: 7221

The produce section within the new Amazon Fresh grocery store that opened recently in Woodland There is hot food, like made-to-order pizzas, rotisserie chicken, and fresh-baked bread. There are shelves stocked with cool sounding Amazon private label brands, like Fresh and Cursive. Amazon is the everything store. They are, at best, just grocery stores.

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This distinction is important because it means that Amazon Fresh can serve as a hub for other Amazon customer activities outside of grocery shopping — namely, returns and package pickup of wares that have nothing to do with grocery stores. Kroger and Safeway cannot do that with their stores.

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Customers cannot take online electronics back to a Kroger or online apparel back to a Safeway, for example. The closest competitors that offer something similar to this right now are the mass merchants like Walmart WMT and Target TGTbut, keep in mind, their third-party marketplaces and assortment offerings also still pale in comparison to Amazon.

Amazon is instead doing something quite unique. In the former, Amazon still wins, while in the latter, one has to wonder if the use case is broad enough in its appeal to make a difference, and especially when one considers the next point. One of the most interesting and sublime experiments happening within Amazon Fresh has to do with Alexa and voice technology. Alexa permeates the new fresh experience in a of ways. First, blue Alexa kiosks help Fresh customers find items while they shop. Customers can Second, Amazon Fresh customers can start their shopping lists at home via voice and then access the items on their lists by way of their Amazon apps while shopping the store.

Customers can pair their individual mobile apps or shopping lists to the cart, and then the cart will help them find and check items off their shopping lists by leveraging smart technology that knows what items on their lists have been placed inside their carts while they shop.

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No one. No other U. If this consumer behavior around voice takes hold, Amazon will be way out in front of everyone on this one. Amazon has been deliberate since the start of the year in discussing how Amazon Fresh customers will checkout within the Amazon Fresh store.

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Fresh customers will shop the store like people have always shopped a grocery store and then stand in line to checkout. Close up photo of the new Amazon Dash Cart. Customers who use the cart at Amazon's new Amazon Fresh As gimmicky as the idea sounds read here for more on thatit is the principle of the idea that matters most.

For instance, the majority of Americans are not familiar with a checkout-free retail experience. In many ways, a smart cart is then just an early bridge or psychological crutch into better, more full scale checkout-free grocery shopping experience des of the future. And, more importantly, checkout-free des will also be a point of long-term differentiation.

Whether smart carts, scan-and-go mobile, or an Amazon Go-style computer vision system prevails as the ultimate long-run answer, all still provide something that other grocery stores do not — a way to bypass standing in line. All else being equal, if a grocery store on one corner requires standing in line, while the one on the other corner does not, then one can bet his or her bottom dollar on which store will win out in the end.

The greatest thing about Amazon is that it is unafraid to test and to try new things.

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That is how people learn. One of the experiments about which no one is talking yet but could be soon is the impact of a digital third-party marketplace on the in-store shopping experience. This question is all the more important of late, as Kroger, too, recently announced its own intentions to create a third-party online marketplace platform for its customers.

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The only issue though is that no one really understands what this means for the in-store grocery shopping experience. Amazon, itself, has not even simulated this test yet. Neither are great proxies. In a full-scale grocery store, filled with mass-market products from either an Amazon, a Kroger, or even a Walmart, however, the question becomes what will pricing and pricing transparency look like online from third-parties as people are shopping in store?

Will everything be on the rails? Or, will retailers encounter instances where products on their shelves are available from third-parties at different prices? And, how will customers feel about it as they shop in-store?

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Or, said another way, if a Crazy Larry third-party marketplace vendor wants to offer an insane discount on Oreos or Tide, what does it all look like in store versus online? No one yet knows the answers to these questions, but omnichannel pricing and the trust that comes with shopping in-store versus online will matter. What matters is that Amazon is out there doing the experimentation before everyone else.

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Amazon Fresh could work or it could fail, but whether it succeeds or fails as a standalone concept is almost moot. Amazon Fresh is a test, an experiment, a showcase of coordinated new ways to shop that will all be here for the long-run. Hard to argue the list, and yet a scant few else have dared to go where Amazon has gone in Woodland Hills on even one of them to date, let alone all four together. I am a leading expert and influencer in omnichannel retailing, with nearly 20 years of experience across nearly every discipline within retail.

Currently, I am CEO and. I also sit on the advisory boards of Xenia Retail and Delivery Solutions. I began my retail career at Gap, Inc. This is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking here. More From Forbes. Oct 15,pm EDT. Oct 15,am EDT. Oct 14,pm EDT. Oct 14,am EDT. Edit Story. I write serious and sometimes comic musings on retail's evolution. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Check out my website or some of my other work here. Chris Walton. Read Less.

Open to a Fresh Experience

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