— This is the script of CNBC’s news report for China’s CCTV on June 15, 2018, Friday.
When Amazon acquired the whole foods market and scaled up their retail shares battle from online to offline, a new giant may appear in this market, that’s the Microsoft. According the information from Reuters, Microsoft is developing a new tech that will allow the store to not require cashiers and queue checkouts, challenging the auto-stores under Amazon. The information says that the system developed by Microsoft can track what customer puts in their cart; this tech is the new tech breakthrough that Walmart and other traditional retailers are seeking to compete with Amazon.
In terms of Amazon Go, the auto-store developed by amazon, formally opened in Jan this year in Seattle. Customers enter the shop with scanning their phone at the entrance, and then cams and sensors can detect what they pick up from the racks. Amazon will charge from their reserved credit cards when the customers leave the shop after the shopping is over.
Currently, we are not sure about when will the Microsoft launches the automated checkout service to the market, or if the Microsoft will joint with Walmart. But what we can foresee is that this will be the next trend for offline shopping, which combines the offline with online, increasing the efficiency of supermarkets and will also increasing the convenience of consumers’ shopping. However, the problem is that cashier is one of the most common occupations in the US.
The data shows that in 2016, there are 4.6 million Americans work in retail industry and 3.4 million of them are cashiers, accounting for 6% of the US employment market. Therefore, if Walmart uses such tech, we can foresee that the Walmart will face the pressure from the shop employees. Amazon’s unmanned stores may launch in Chicago and San Francisco soon, and it’s obvious that amazon’s competitor, including Walmart that other retail giants, will face more competition pressure.
If the Microsoft enters this market and joint with Walmart, then we will see increasingly aggressive competition. Obviously, the customers who go shopping with more convenience will be the beneficiaries.