Checkout-free stores and non-food specialist stores are likely to continue to expand internationally post the pandemic period. Also, Amazon’s stores to see increased competition.
While food and grocery retail continue to lead the checkout-free trend, as this kind of tech lends itself well to the sector, leading mall operators such as Majid Al Futtaim will begin to experiment with the tech in non-food specialist stores, as per analytics firm by GlobalData.
“As consumer demand for ‘safe shopping’ accelerates due to Covid-19, and the return on investment (ROI) of checkout-free tech is revealed, retailers that have already implemented this technology such as Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, and Carrefour will see their advantage eroded as competitors join the checkout-free retail race in 2022,” said Jemima Walker, Analyst - Thematic Research Team, GlobalData.
Also known as ‘ambient commerce’, checkout-free shopping allows customers to walk straight out with the items they want as a range of technology tracks their movements and automatically charges their accounts.
“Leaders in apparel, health and beauty, home, and electronics retail will be closely watching the success of checkout-free food and grocery stores,” the company further stated.
Checkout-free tech providers also have an opportunity to compete with Amazon.
“As checkout-free stores proliferate, consumers will follow—as evidenced by their fast adoption in the APAC region. Although, according to GlobalData’s latest UK Consumer Views Survey*, 55.7 percent of consumers are unwilling to use a checkout-free grocery store," experts believe.
In fact, the greatest concern for respondents was the need to download an app and register payment details. Retailers looking to win over more consumers will need to select in-store tech providers that can deliver a convenient, frictionless experience to reassure customers.
The use of ‘Just Walk Out’ technology in Amazon Go stores—with the option of a unified app, credit card payment options, and biometric entry—will ensure the retail giant continues to dominate, as per the report.
However, other in-store tech providers have an opportunity to compete with a lower-cost offering. This can be achieved either by partnering with a widely integrated payment app platform such as PayPal or by creating a cheaper, more frictionless set-up. AiFi’s barrier-free entry tech in Carrefour’s Flash 10/10 store in Paris could be a strong contender.