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Writing by Yiping Hao, July 17th, 2018

A well-known online sales event like Amazon Prime Day is theoretically impulsing buyers through mobile and ecommerce technology. With the number of these events escalating, an increasing number of consumers are shopping online which is contributing to a number of brick and mortar store closings. However, The large mobile-driven consumer attitudes and behaviors do not mean that traditional retailers are doomed to lose competitiveness. Instead, its forcing the retail industry to change the way it currently operates and to adopt new capabilities such as Click & Collect services. The retail industry is facing a revolution, driven by technology and innovation after both Amazon and Walmart have announced technologies that could make the shoppers love the convenience of grocery.

Amazon Go – “Just Walk Out Technology”

Amazon Go is a checkout-free grocery store opened by e-commerce giant Amazon, which means you can walk into store, grab a product off the shelf and just walk out the door without ever stepping foot in the check-out line. “Just Walk Out” utilizes several technologies, which includes computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion to achieve the whole shopping transaction. The ceiling of the store has several cameras supported by AI visual recognition technology and the shelves are equipped with weight sensors that aim to detect when a product has been removed by a customer and how many products are left on the shelf. This revolutionary technology could calculate the accurate inventory counts in real-time and avoid the situation where shoppers order a product online but the item is actually unavailable.

Walmart – ” Fresh Online Experience Technology”

Unlike Amazon, Walmart’s Fresh Online Experience Technology (FOE) focuses on providing the online consumer with the freshest items. Also, Walmart’s FOE technology is patent pending, which states “The Digital information on computer screen Fresh Online Experience may facilitate customers’ ability to visually verify the exact fresh item they will be receiving”. Walmart’s FOE utilizes image scans to show the online shoppers in-store products and then the shoppers would have a limited number of attempts to approve or reject the items from one of the images sent to them. Once the item is approved, the item will be deemed with the “edible watermark” and then packed for delivery. This new technology aims to overcome the notion that online produce consumers often receive older, almost expired products and allows consumers more flexibility and choices to select fresh items, which is more important to those consumers not being able to hand-pick fresh groceries.

In summary, Amazon and Walmart are embracing technology and using it to their advantage. From technology that enhances the consumer experience to technology that supports the back office, such as, retail sourcing technology, supply chain management or retail product lifecycle management (PLM) technology. These two retail technology giants, aggressively lead the pack in most categories, and it is now starting to force others to follow suit or become an afterthought in the retail industry. For more information about the benefits of retail technology read the full report: How to Improve Supply Chain Automation For Improved Retail Sourcing Decision Making. Or for more about today’s retail sourcing, PLM Software (retail PLM) and supply chain management (SCM) tools please Contact Us or visit CBX Software.

Writing by Yiping Hao, July 17th, 2018
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