Amazon’s plans for cashierless department store will send ripples through retail sector, says software specialist

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Amazon’s plans to open several department-style stores across the US, offering consumers the chance to physically shop for clothing, household items, electronics, and other popular goods, will send ripples through the retail sector, says software specialist VAI.

The move toward large, physical stores will allow the technology giant to expand its presence as an e-commerce powerhouse to a brick-and-mortar store competitor.

Joe Scioscia, VP of sales at VAI, said: “Amazon’s ability to scale beyond just cashierless tech to a full-size department store will send ripples throughout the retail industry, giving a snapshot of what the future could look like. For both large brands and small local stores, Amazon has shown that consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with a tech-enabled and contactless shopping experience, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the next few years, I expect to see other retailers ramp up their abilities to offer contactless shopping experiences in connection with both delivery services and curbside pickup.”

Kunal Chopra, CEO of marketplace enabler Kaspien, said: “Amazon’s department store plans are a testament of the ecommerce giant’s agility and sets the stage for the future of retail and ecommerce. Consumers want convenience. Amazon’s department stores make it easy and convenient to make shopping with Amazon part of consumers’ everyday routines – online or in-store. Now, rather than consumers having to wait 24-48 hours for delivery of their favorite clothing, homegoods and electronics, they can pick it up in store for instant gratification. This concept of agility and a diversified selling strategy is so important for ecommerce and retailers to keep in mind as they look for ways to stay competitive in the growing market. For individual sellers on marketplaces, Amazon will be highly selective about the brands and products that hit the shelves in its department stores. So, while it will be difficult to earn Amazon’s blessing to grace department store shelves, it presents a tremendous opportunity for sellers to diversify their own selling strategies.” –

Fruugo managing director Tony Preedy said: “Amazon’s latest move into large physical retail is evidence that Amazon, as an individual retail entity, intends to increasingly compete against its own marketplace sellers. It is a clear demonstration of why retailers need to spread commercial risk by using multiple marketplaces to ensure they’re not putting all their eggs in one basket. It’s long been known that using multiple sales channels is a strategic move that spreads risk. However, it’s not enough today to just have a strong digital presence – diversification goes for e-commerce itself too. Retailers that expand their e-commerce offerings can be certain to protect against risk and uncertainty, and ultimately maximise sales in both the short and long term, no matter what direction platforms like Amazon take in the future.”