January 23, 2018
The ability to order and pay via mobile device has the potential to change brick-and-mortar commerce and two online pioneers continued down that path with recent announcements.
Starbucks, one of the first to implement ordering and paying through an app, is piloting a completely cashless store in Seattle. Mobile Order & Pay is a big reason they are able to do so. It accounted for around 8 percent of all transactions by the end of Q3 last year and COO Kevin Johnson called the technology “highly incremental to our business.”
At the same time, fellow Seattle-based tech giant Amazon announced that its Amazon Go concept store would finally be open to the public. Launched to great fanfare a little more than a year ago, Amazon Go enables consumers to walk into a physical location and, through a web of technologies including sensors, cameras smart shelves and a payment app, leave without stopping at any checkout counter.
Until it got major bugs worked out of its system, the test store was open only to Amazon employees in Seattle. But yesterday, about a year after the company initially said it would, the company opened the test store to the public. Through a spokesperson, the company said it currently “has no plans” to license the technology or to expand it to its recently acquired Whole Foods locations.