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Amazon Go is cool. Can it improve marketing?

Yes, with lots and lots of data.

Amazon Go is a new concept by Amazon aimed at creating a truly frictionless shopping experience. In their Seattle test store, Amazon Go is pushing the boundary of retail to an almost utopian state. By developing and incorporating new technology (and patenting the hell out of it), Amazon’s plan is to create a shopping experience where the customer walks in the store, grabs what they want, and walks out. Your mobile device integrates with the store, tracking you as you shop, then charges your account as you leave. Totally seamless.

It’s brilliant; that is, if they can pull it off. I was excited about Amazon Go for a couple of reasons. The first being, it’s super smart from a business perspective. Amazon makes a ton of money off licensing its cloud servers, Amazon Web Services. We use it for a number of clients, and we aren’t alone. Amazon Web Services boasts over a million enterprise customers and generates revenue close to 10 billion per year.

By inventing the technology to make Amazon Go a reality, it provides Amazon the opportunity to license the technology to other stores once they prove it really works. Where would you shop? A store where you waited in line, or one you just walked out of? By creating a business model similar to Amazon Web Services, Amazon has the potential to take over the entire retail industry.

The second reason I love the concept, and why this is important from a digital marketing perspective, is data. Through Google, we can currently track online shoppers and use that data for remarketing and interest-based targeting campaigns. Amazon’s model, however, could track the one thing we lack, in store shopping.

It is hard to predict how the new technology could be used, but one reasonable guess could be the ability for stores to cater their ads to customers based on previous purchases. Or possibly even using marketing to improve “real life” cart abandonment.

It will be interesting to see just how it all shakes out, but for our team, we are excited about the possibilities.

Questions? Feel free to reach out by contacting us.