Do People Really Want Amazon’s Latest Innovation? – Barron’s
So far, Amazon has one Go store, which opened to employees in Seattle late last year. Itâ€™s not clear how many stores will eventually open.
The company has highlighted the checkout innovation as a key selling point for the new stores.
But according to a Morgan Stanley report published Friday, most people donâ€™t see a quick checkout as a particularly big deal. In fact, it was an important factor for only about 30% of the people they surveyed, versus 50% who cared about prices and 70% who wanted a convenient location. Also more important than quick checkout: selection, high-quality products, and good weekly sales and promotions.
Whatâ€™s more, Amazonâ€™s advantage in checkout times is already narrowing. Traditional grocery stores have made progress at reducing times considerably — Kroger lowered its average checkout wait time to 30 seconds from 3-4 minutes historically, according to Morgan Stanley. And Wal-Martâ€™s mobile app now allows for quick scan and go purchases at Samâ€™s Club.
â€œWhile frictionless shopping differentiates â€˜Goâ€™, it is unclear if this is enough to make the concept viable long-term,â€ analyst Vincent Sinisi wrote. Sinisi nonetheless finds the Go concept intriguing, as the U.S. grocery market is worth $770 billion, and this is one way for Amazon to tap into it.
Big Picture: Amazon is excited about its new Amazon Go food markets, where people can check out using just their smartphones. But consumers donâ€™t care that much about quick checkout compared to other factors.
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