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Retail Customer Service Options Continue to Expand

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The Sobel & Co. Retail Practice has provided a series of articles and blogs focusing on different types of approaches brick and mortar facilities have embraced to maintain a competitive advantage over the increasing trend of online shopping. The numbers reported after the annual post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush, both on-line and in-person, have reinforced the popularity of the convenience of shopping.  People prefer to shop from home, office, or anywhere at all – on a smart phone, tablet or lap top.

But one way to encourage more in store traffic is to improve the customer experience.  With today’s opening of Seattle’s Amazon Go, it is one step in the use of innovation to bring people back to a hands-on retail market experience. 

 Amazon on the Go is its Newest Innovation  

They rolled out their ‘Just Walk Out’ technology at a beta test site in Seattle, Washington.  It enables shoppers to load up their carts and walk out the door without any check-out experience. Anyone with an Amazon account and a free Amazon Go app loaded on a smart phone can use this service. Consumers just swipe their smartphones on turnstiles and a system combining computer vision and sensor fusion recognizes the products.  So the products that leave the store are automatically scanned and recorded by Amazon.  And then charged to the customer’s Amazon account as they exit.

Retailers across all niches are working to create in-store experiences that capture the attention and imagination of their customers. Whether it is implementing easy payment methods, leveraging drone deliveries, introducing store robots or even embracing distinctive checkout technologies; the commitment to raise the bar and ensure excellent customer experience remains a principal tenet of the US retail sector. Understanding what the customer wants, and responding to it, is key to the revolution.

The ability to leverage technology in order to create extraordinary and unique customer experiences is driving all retailers to shake up their in-store environment.  And furthermore set their sights on building a new retail world.    

John Mellage, CPA, Sobel & Co.