As Brits, we’re generally partial to a good queue (at least, that’s the stereotype). But it’s hard to deny: avoiding checkout queues during the lunch hour sounds too good to be true. Yet it’s exactly this that Amazon Go promises. It’s the first-ever physical store with no money and no queues, and it opened to the public on January 22.
The innovative idea uses artificial intelligence (AI), and a series of sensors to revolutionise the shopping experience. While this has sparked an ongoing debate about the future of automated checkouts, there are still lessons to learn from the retail ripples Amazon Go has caused.
Howard Williams, marketing director at digital engagement specialist Parker Software, explains the lessons that the successes and failures of Amazon Go teach us about e-commerce, automation and the AI-infused future of retail.
1. Make sure you can deliver on your tech promises
The opening of Amazon Go prompted much amusement on Twitter after shoppers were forced to queue to enter a ‘queue-less’ store. Of course, once the hype around the new tech dies down, the experience could very easily live up to its queue-free promise.
There is, however, a lesson to be learned from this, and it’s universal – it doesn’t matter whether you operate online, in-store, or both. When implementing new tech, don’t overgeneralise or exaggerate what it will be able to do. Living up to your technological claims is a must. If you do want to boast about your new innovation – and we get it if you do – only do so once you know that it’s working for your customers.
For example, let’s say you’ve launched an advanced machine-learning chatbot on your website. This chatbot could answer more types of question than ever before, and that’s great. But don’t promise customers that it can answer their every query,

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