Company would gain more data, insight into shoppers’ habits in brick-and-mortar stores
Amazon is looking into building Kindle-based checkout systems for brick-and mortar retailers, and it could even begin to offer merchants various other services, such as website development and data analysis. Sources with knowledge of the company’s plans told the Wall Street Journal that these Kindle checkout systems could be hitting retailers’ check-out counters as soon as this summer. However, this is still a work in progress, and one that Amazon could still decide to put on a back burner, revise, or even scrap, these sources say.
Amazon gleaned the technology that would make this checkout system possible through its recent acquisition of Gopago — a startup that offers consumers a mobile app so they can pay for goods before picking them up in-store. This startup also provides retailers with POS systems. According to Tech Crunch, Amazon was primarily interested in Gopago’s technology. While Amazon purchased the technology and engineering/product team in December, the POS business and client base went instead to DoubleBeam.
Should these plans come to fruition this summer, the company would become firmly rooted in the physical retail realm, a move which would provide the company with even more data to begin analyzing consumers’ in-store spending habits, WSJ says. Though it certainly won’t be an easy market, considering the prominence of checkout technology makers VeriFone Systems and NCR. There are also other popular startup options like Square, which provides retailers with a credit-card reader to attach to a tablet or smartphone. Because larger retailers have complicated checkout systems that could be too difficult or too costly to phase out, WSJ expects Amazon will set its sights on smaller retailers.
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