CHICAGO -- Tech that allows customers to skip the checkout line is improving.
Amid rumors that Amazon is considering launching a grocery store, Sam’s Club has improved its item scanning tool and tech startup Grabango is providing multicloud interconnectivity for its retail customers.
Click through for more on these updates to frictionless tech …
1. Amazon grocery?
Amazon, based in Seattle, is planning to open “dozens” of grocery stores in major U.S. cities, according to a Wall Street Journal report. “Amazon doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation,” a spokesperson said in response to an inquiry by CSP Daily News.
The Journal spoke with people familiar with the matter who claimed it plans to open its first grocery outlet in Los Angeles as early as the end of this year, and that it has already signed some leases. Stores could also open in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
The stores would be separate from the Whole Foods Market name, but it is not clear if Amazon would be a part of the name of the store. The Journal's report follows previous rumors of Amazon moving into grocery.
2. Better scanning now
Bentonville, Ark.-based Sam’s Club has improved scanning technology in its frictionless Sam’s Club Now test store. Before, customers had to scan an item’s barcode. The update allows customers to point their phone's camera toward an item. The phone scans the entire item and, based on the image, identifies the item without having to get very close to a specific part of the item.
Employees will also likely have access to this technology in order to improve their processes.
3. Grab and go to the cloud
Grabango, the checkout-free tech startup that aims to bring frictionless checkout technology to large format grocery stores, has migrated from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
The move is a result of feedback from its customers, which includes one unnamed c-store brand. “The call to migrate off AWS and provide multicloud interconnectivity with their stores was clear and universal. This move further reduces risk and, we hope, shows our customers and potential customers alike that we listen and will act quickly to align with their priorities,” said Will Glaser, Grabango founder and CEO.