User experience, or UX, pivots on the intrinsic design of processes that ensures that interactions executed while fulfilling customer needs is flawless and painless. As a holistic facet providing competitive advantage in today’s ever increasingly cluttered and commoditized market place, effective UX has ultimately become both a sales asset and marketing strategy. Arguably, one of the recent new and big unveilings has come from Amazon, through their exciting technological innovation, Amazon Go.
And how does it work? Well, in short, Amazon Go is an integration of several technologies fused together to create a brand new shopping experience. Simply put, it allows shoppers to get into physical shops, pick out what they want to purchase and just walk out. As the name suggests, that’s why they refer to it as “Just Walk Out Technology”. The technology being utilized for this is genetically the same as that is used in sensor fusion, computer vision as well as self- driving cars.
The software detects products when they are taken and returned to shelves, and keeps track of a virtual card. When a customer is done shopping, they simply walk out, their Amazon account is then debited with the purchase, and a receipt is then sent to them.
Amazon Go is impressive for a plethora of reasons – and one of them is, it’s a definition of the future of an increasing standard of good customer experience.
If the world is paying attention, Just Walk Out Technology is a re-definition of several customer-focused concepts. Amongst those, it rules out a future of transactional needs between service provision and any necessity for consumers to have to wait, or put much effort in achieving simple tasks. This, in turn, fundamentally entails that the conventional definition of convenience is going to be even more dynamic even for areas where the capacity to increase it hasn’t been re-imagined for years; decades, even. Which is why this new take on convenience is so disruptive to the current status quo.
In two years’ time, are you going to need a boarding pass in order to get onto a flight? How can the same technologies being used by Amazon Go be utilized to automate check-in processes and boarding procedures? And how about checking into a hotel – or unlocking the hotel room? For how much longer is there going to be a need for physical keys, smartphone locks and digital keys? While the application of this technology in everyday case scenarios is not the most straight-forward thing to imagine right at this moment, the motion and velocity of digital transformation and technological disruption clearly suggest that what seems unimportant today will be a key differentiator in customer experience in a matter of time – sometimes, extremely short periods.
All in all, Just Walk Out Technology can represent the turn into a new frame of thinking in as far as service delivery is concerned. Is the technology behind it rocket science? To non-technical people certainly, it is a complex technology which requires a lot of focus in perfecting. Is it brand new? Not really. It is already being used in many areas preceding this innovation. Is it a game-changer? Yes – because the way the technology is being used is brand new, and has been applied to an area where a great deal of people would have never thought it could be applied until it was announced. It is simplifying something traditionally tedious.
The heart is simplicity
One of the amazing things about Just Walk Out Technology and other technologies in the same class, is the degree to which they apply the design philosophy of simplicity. There has never been a time where it has come out more clear that sophisticated technology does not have to bear complicated outcomes, or experience. In Amazon Go’s case, while all the complex processes are happening in the background, the shopper does not have to be aware of all this. All they do is walk in the store, pick what they want and walk out. Although the technology behind it is probably among some of the most sophisticated, shopping experience can still be ranked as the highest in terms of being simple.
Right at the core of good UX rests the same mission to give the best outcome through the simplest experience. This principle is universally applicable; whether it is to daily personal activities or the enterprise solutions on which businesses and the world run. The guiding notion remains consistently and abundantly clear; the best-performing products and services are those which are comprehensive for the end-user, with a high productivity factor in achieving core objectives.
So, don’t sweat the details – just walk out.