Amazon’s Grocery Vision

This week Amazon opened their prototype grocery store to the public.  What’s so different about it?  It’s entirely self-serve with no checkout process.  Hundreds of cameras and sensors identify what a customer puts in his/her cart and automatically charges their account when they walk out of the store.  More details can be found in this USA Today article.  While the concept may not seem revolutionary, the experience is fairly disruptive as compared to the current grocery shopping paradigm.  Not only does it require use of a specialized smartphone app, it also challenges decades of ingrained behavior – the checkout counter is the last step of the retail shopping experience.

Amazon frequently pushes the envelope with new technologies and concepts.  Some are a tremendous hit and others are spectacular failures.  Which do you and your students think this will be?  If you were responsible for a national rollout, how would you build your marketing plan?  This concept will clearly appeal more to Innovators and Early Adopters and receive resistance from Laggards and the Late Majority.  Can you effectively use that information to target a marketing campaign or is it impractical in this scenario?

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