The retail walk-out solution that does not alienate the nostalgics
Few retail concepts have earned more attention than AmazonGo. First introduced in 2017, the seamless walk-out solution seemed capable of revolutionizing physical shopping. The world was in awe, and Amazon boasted it’s plans to establish 3.000 concept stores in the USA by the end of 2021. As we speak, they have completed 30.
Others are building similar stores, the latest example being Tesco’s magnificent outlet in London while the Tegut store in Fulda, Germany, is another great installation.
So the examples are there, and the future will certainly bring more.
The existing world consists not only of AmazonGos, though, but tons and tons of cash, the good old Visa card, and even hand-written paper cheques, as anachronistic as it may sound. This will not disappear for years.
As a supplier, how does one maneuver such a conflicting landscape of preferences? Some traditional hardware suppliers seem to be changing their strategies, so any retailer looking for someone to deliver them a hardware-loaded walk-out store has a multitude to choose from.
As a developer of retail technology, Fygi most certainly aspires to supply relevant solutions to a future landscape, too. This article was supposed to deal with hybrid retail, and how Fygi answers to new demands from consumers. Consequently, we need to agree what we understand by the term hybrid retail. Simply put, one can understand this as the interplay between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail. We already have answers to this through our Scan Pay Go platform, with endless aisle, fulfillment-of-choice, and several other omni features.
Now it is time to make those physical outlets autonomous and take the first step into a futuristic retail landscape that everyone is comfortable approaching. Just let the customers pick what they want, pay in a manner of their own choosing, and leave. And no more fuzz. All the while Fygi takes care of anti-theft.
For such an ambitious undertaking to succeed, three boxes need to be ticked:
Zero barriers to consumer adoption
Existing systems and physical store designs must be allowed to remain intact, should the retailer so wish
An unquestionably positive ROI
As we see spring this year, we will also see the first Fygi walk-out systems, the FygiEye, being installed. The main difference between the FygiEye and other walk-out solutions, apart from tonnes of costly and non-renewable hardware, is how we bridge the transition from old-era shopping habits and preferences to tomorrow’s.
Few tech companies would boast about newly developed solutions being able to accept old-fashioned payments, but I want to highlight it as a specific point. As the bulk of physical shoppers are still pretty analogue, retailers would be crazy to alienate them.
The FygiEye, made in Norway, currently pending for world-wide patent protection, co-exists seamlessly with both the existing POS and other in-store systems, as well as the self-service platform Scan Pay Go. The system employs the RFID technology, the implementation of which is positively correlated with retailer profits, according to McKinsey.
In order to create true value, this is what hybrid retail should aim for: supporting any persona, any customer journey, and any present and future retail environment.
Stay tuned and stay clear of the damned virus.
Amund - firstname.lastname@example.org
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