TECHNOLOGY

‘Just walk out,’ smart technology usage to skyrocket over next five years

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Retailers are stepping up their investments in technologies that rival those found at Amazon Go — and spending is set to explode by 2023.

“Just walk out’ shopping and other smart checkout technology investments will grow from an estimated $253 million in 2018 to over $45 billion by 2023, according to “Future Stores & the Retailers Building Them,” a report form Juniper Research.

According to findings, most “just walk out” transactions will happen in convenience and general stores, and average transaction value at these locations will hover around $30 per visit throughout the forecast period. In addition, self-scanning apps, an alternative to “just walk out” technologies, will be used by over 32 million shoppers by 2023.

These smart checkout apps could also become gateways to technologies like Bluetooth beacons and augmented reality. The development of virtualized beacons, where an antenna array simulates the presence of multiple beacons, will increase revenues for beacon manufacturers. These revenues will grow at an average annual growth of 49%, reaching over $1.5 billion by 2023; beacon shipments will only grow at 21.5% per year.

Customer service will be another key area for in-store innovation, with more retailers experimenting with automated handling of customer queries. Voice assistants and in-store robots will support this service in 2023, with robots generating over $20 million in revenue for their manufacturers.

Early leaders here include Softbank’s Pepper, Bossa Nova Robotics’ shelf-scanning, and Lowe’s customer service robots, the study revealed.

“Many of these technologies can bring multiple benefits to retailers” said Juniper senior analyst and research author James Moar. “For example, robots and RFID can be used in both customer service and inventory management; making both elements of in-store retail more efficient.”

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