There is no doubt labour costs continue to be the key controllable expense for food and beverage and retail operators in Australia. The current volatile trading conditions only highlight the ability to control operational costs.
Over the years we have championed the use of self service style outlets in stadiums and other high volume locations with varying styles of check out solutions to reduce labour costs.
With the use of the emerging technologies, Amazon via their test outlets Amazon Go, have developed “Just Walk Out” Technology that all but eliminates labour at the check out. But before you succumb to the machines and radically reduce your workforce, it’s important to consider smart ways to enhance your customers’ shopping experience through human interaction.
How Just Walk Out works
This technology allows consumers to enter the outlets by presenting their credit cards for store access. Smart shelf sensors and cameras enable customers to select and pick up goods they wish to purchase and walk out of the store. They are automatically charged as the leave.
Who should use it?
There is a place for this style of retail in Australia, namely in locations that need to provide a range of options and have time and volume considerations, such as airports and stadiums. Whilst some may be critical of such a service devoid of human contact, the concept would compliment any sizeable precinct that offers a large range of product.
Keep your customers engaged
Rather than look at this type of technology as another step toward AI and the loss of employment opportunities, there is now the opportunity to refocus our retailing efforts back to better customer experience. In a food and beverage context this can be live cooking stations, freshly prepared feature food items, bespoke cocktail making and more attentive customer service.
There is no doubt that this new technology will become the norm, particularly in countries that have a higher cost of labour. The key to delighting your customers will will be to find the right balance between convenience and experience.
To further discuss the implications of Just Walk Out technology, get in touch.