Is Amazon Go Planning To Compete With Our Micromarkets And Vending Machines?

by Paul Schlossberg
Posted On: 12/13/2018

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  Paul Schlossberg
The answer apparently is YES! That is based on a headline in Business Insider: "Amazon just opened its smallest cashier-less store yet – and it reveals that it's looking to take on everything from vending machines to Walmart."  

Here comes our newest competitor – Amazon. Apparently this new and smaller generation of Amazon Go stores is being targeted at the locations we serve.

Stop what you're doing and read the article now. The new Amazon Go store is small – less than 500 sq. ft. Did you see the new store photo? It appears to be an attractive micromarket deployment.  

Business Insider reported that "Gianna Puerini (who runs the Amazon Go business) told CNN they want to put the stores in hospitals, office building lobbies, or 'anywhere where there's a lot of people who are hungry and in a rush.'"

Those words 'anywhere where there's a lot of people who are hungry and in a rush' read like something we would say to describe our business. Does this news make you nervous and uncomfortable? It should. What would you do if/when Amazon Go was competing with you on RFPs for vending and micromarket locations?  

We recently posted a blog "These Nine Trends Will Impact Your Success In 2019. How Will You Exploit Them?" Point #5 is "Competitive pressure will increase." It took just a few days since it was posted for that challenge to become an immediate issue as a serious priority for us.

What should we be doing to be prepared for the arrival of this tough new competitor in our industry? My blog post, in October was titled "Vending, Micromarkets and Amazon Go. What's The Difference?" There was a discussion of Amazon Go and others offering "just walk out shopping."

Here is the recommendation we proposed for the future of our business:

"For all of our equipment OEMs, peripheral device makers and software/systems providers, the challenge is now yours. How can our industry make the leap? Let's get our industry ready to offer just walk out shopping in the next two years or less. Since it will be a very challenging process, the time to get started is now."    

It is time for our industry to offer "just walk out shopping" at the locations we serve. That means every line of business: (1) vending; (2) micromarkets; (3) office coffee service; etc. If we do NOT accomplish this soon, we will be selling less stuff, a lot less stuff.



» Paul Schlossberg is president of D/FW Consulting, working with clients to merchandise and market products in impulse-intense selling environments, such as vending, onsite foodservice and convenience stores. Based in the Austin, TX, area, he can be reached at Paul@DFWConsulting.net or (972) 877-2972 or www.DFWConsulting.net.