Tencent Technology News, Amazon's attempt in the field of unmanned stores is attracting the attention of other competitors. According to the latest news from foreign media, Microsoft and Kroger, a century-old retailer of the United States, have launched pilots for unmanned stores, which will compete with Amazon’s cashier-free stores.
According to reports, the move also deepened the cooperation between Microsoft and Kroger, which is partly in response to Amazon's acquisition of the Whole Foods Supermarket in 2017 and the entry into the retail of groceries.
Amazon's cloud computing service (Amazon Web Services) began to rebound as Amazon's retail business entered more industries. Kroger is working with companies such as Wal-Mart and Target to find other (cloud computing) providers to provide technical support for their Internet business and e-commerce.
Two fully-equipped Kroger stores in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington, will become the first unsettled store with a digital shelf display with real-time price updates and product information And personalized digital ads for each shopper.
The video analytics system will alert store managers when product inventory declines. Location-related data will be stored and processed on top of Microsoft's cloud computing platform, Azure.
The two companies said the two companies will jointly promote the technology of unmanned stores to other retailers.
Microsoft CEO Satya & Middot; Satya Nadella said in a statement: "Our collaboration will bring Kroger's world-class expertise in the grocery retail industry with Microsoft Cloud Computing Azure and Azure The power of AI is combined. Together we will redefine the shopping experience for Kroger and millions of other retailers around the world, setting new standards for innovation in the industry. ”
This pilot is reminiscent of Amazon's unmanned store experiment, which monitors shoppers' pick-ups and automatically scans them as shoppers leave, eliminating the need for traditional cashiers. According to reports, Amazon plans to expand the size of unmanned stores, including the promotion of unmanned stores under the Whole Foods supermarket. Amazon's innovation has put pressure on traditional grocery retailers to provide similar innovative shopping experiences.
According to the US CNN website, the store is designed to make it easier for customers and employees to browse or manage stores, saving customers time and Kroger's operating costs.
Kroger has been working with companies such as Nuro, Ocado and Walgreens to speed up grocery delivery and picking up, and to try to use digital tools to support brick-and-mortar networks.
The grocery chain is trying to give more and more reasons to shoppers who buy everything from consumer electronics to online breakfast cereals.
According to the latest collaborative project, consumers can first use Kroger's "Scan, Bag, Go"; self-checkout application to build a shopping list.
The app then works with cloud-based software and sensors in the store to guide them around as they check the items on the list. For example, if a customer is looking for pasta, the app will guide the customer to the correct aisle. When customers approach the aisle and approach the type of pasta they choose, the personalized icon —— such as a banana or avocado —— will light up and guide them to the right product. The consumer scans the item to complete the purchase and the system takes the consumer to the next item in the shopping list.
Jason Goldberg, head of business practice at Sapient Razorfish, a digital technology company, said: “It is very important that Kroger must figure out what the digital form of the grocery store looks like. “The technology may appeal to a certain class of consumers who need more information about the food they are buying, where the food comes from and how to store it at home,” he said.
It is reported that the shelves of these two companies armed with new technology will also look very different from traditional stores.
The price tag will be digital, which creates a space for Kroger to sell advertising space to the brand, which may provide a new source of profit for the low-margin grocery business.
Kroger's move is to keep up with competitors' aggressive investment in artificial intelligence and cashless technology to reduce long queues in the store, which is a common pain point for consumers.
According to reports, in addition to Amazon, the Wal-Mart Sam Club recently opened a new Sam Club store in Dallas, Texas, where customers can pay by mobile phone and use their mobile phones to find goods in the store. Wal-Mart also added a detailed digital store map to its mobile app to guide shoppers into the aisle and find a business