In Amazon Go, no one thinks I’m stealing

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This isn’t paranoia: shopping while black is real. We get profiled as soon as the door chimes and announces our arrival in a store. Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker was once falsely accused of shoplifting and patted down in a store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A store associate in Switzerland wouldn’t let Oprah, the billionaire media mogul, see a handbag because she thought Oprah wouldn’t be able to afford it. Ninety-two percent of African-Americans said discrimination against black Americans exists today, according to a 2017 study commissioned by NPR.

Once the plastic bottle hit the bottom of my reusable bag, I glanced around to see if anyone noticed. The Amazon employees shuffled around the small store and restocked shelves…

No one cared what I was doing. Is this what it feels like to shop when you’re not black?


Stealing From a Cashierless Store (Without You, or the Cameras, Knowing It)

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Standard Market is the latest entry in the emerging fray of retail automation, where companies are throwing cameras, sensors and machine learning into grocery stores to replace the checkout line. In January, Amazon opened its first cashierless Go market in Seattle to the public; it has since opened more of the stores. In China, experiments in cashierless stores abound, using radio frequency identification tags and a self-checkout process that involves scanning a Quick Response code or your face.

Standard Cognition’s approach is different. It relies exclusively on the ceiling cameras and artificial intelligence software to figure out what you are buying. The cameras document shoppers’ movements, speed, stride length and gaze. The store knows when I glance at a poster and for how long. It knows if I slowed down, grabbed a chocolate bar and put it back. It knows if my body is facing the dried mangoes but my face is set on the popcorn.

And it knows (or is trying to know) when I am planning to steal.

Introduction to Continuous Commerce™

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E-commerce is a huge prize. It is the biggest growth business in all of marketing, now at $1 trillion globally and growing at 17%. According to Price Waterhouse, more is spent on e-commerce than on all other digital channels combined. But it is not an easy game for marketers to play and win.

The future of digital commerce is more than just a shopping cart on a website, it means seamlessly integrating a brand’s shopping experiences across multiple environments throughout a consumer’s lifetime to continually optimize points for purchase.

We call this Continuous Commerce™. Don’t begin and end at the transaction. Commerce today is continuous.

Former retail chief: Only 1 in 100 Apple store visitors actually buys

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In an interview at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson explained that physical retail was so much more about an experience than a crude sales channel.

 “The Apple store’s a place to be,” Johnson said. Not a place to shop, a place to be.

He also offered one bracing statistic (around the 38-minute mark): “Only 1 out of the 100 who visit the store every day buy anything.”

He then put forward this conundrum: “But it’s the busiest store in the mall.”

What are the other 99 doing? Bathing in the connection between themselves and the brand. In the future, he said, stores will be forced to create more intimacy through their physical stores.

The ubiquity of technology has meant that people feel more connected to each other — although one can debate how real these connections are.

Karl Lagerfeld Encourages Shoppers to Take Selfies in New London Store, Installs Photo Booths in Fitting Rooms

Karl Lagerfeld London Store

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If you’re guilty of always taking selfies in the fitting room to send to your closest friends for a group consensus before making a big purchase, Karl Lagerfeld is cutting half the legwork out for you.

The Kaiser, who just unveiled his first retail store in London for his eponymous label, has installed a photo booth in the dressing room of his chic boutique so shoppers can snap selfies with ease and share on their social media feed in one fell swoop.