Mar 31, 2020 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- E-commerce is booming and it will just continue to grow, pushed both by the regular need for tech innovations and the coronavirus outbreak. It is like Amazon.com, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.31% knew where to direct its innovation course and opened its first cashier-less grocery store on February 25 [th] , allowing its customers to walk in the store, pick the items they want, and then walk out the store without any need to stop at the cash register. The picked items will be automatically tracked and monitored, and afterward charged to the credit card once the shopper leaves the store. This technology was also used to power 25 Amazon Go stores.
How does Amazon's cashierlessstore technology work?
Amazon created a complex system of specialized cameras and sensors, which are all connected to the developed software that tracks its shoppers' movements and actions within the store. So, the system follows each customer, detects when each item is picked, allowing the shoppers to walk out of the store with selected items, which are then charged to the shopper’s credit or debit card. Even more, if the shopper decides to return some items, while in the store, those items are removed from the shopper's shopping cart. This whole system is called "Just Walk Out". It is offered to all retailers who are interested in upgrading their stores.
Why did Amazon decide to offer its technology to its competitors?
After the success of its cashier-less stores, Amazon decided to extend this technology to its competition. Reuters received the information from Amazon that there are several interested companies that already made official deals. We still do not have the names of those interested retailers, but there must be more than enough interested companies since Amazon decided not to save this jewel to itself. It is logical to assume that there must be an economic reason behind that decision.
Amazon provides us with the necessary items, but social media helps us stay connected
So, Amazon is helping us amid the COVID-19 drama by reducing the physical contact to the minimum with its delivery services and cashier-less stores. But we still need to make contact with at least our family and friends during this uncertain time. And that is where Facebook, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +0.36% steps in. Many people stayed at home, and they turned to social media to stay connected and also to make the time pass more quickly. And there is no bigger network than Facebook. And when we add other services from the Facebook family, like Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, it is no wonder why many people choose this social media network, causing its usage to skyrocket. And that is why both Amazon's and Facebook's stocks have been holding up better than the rest of the market.
E-commerce vs current shopping habits
Many companies are still not focusing enough attention to e-commerce. That is probably because many shoppers still follow their old habits and go physically to the stores. The COVID-19 pushed many of the shoppers to try online shopping during the last month and will only further do so over the next few months. So, all the companies which are not ready to start developing e-commerce as a separate channel of their business as a separate strategy will certainly face a tough period ahead.
JD.com wants to challenge Alibaba's dominant position – and amid clouds!
JD.com Inc /zigman2/quotes/205122565/composite JD +1.05% is currently well known in China for its one-day or next-day delivery services. Their strategy gave some good results since the number of active customer accounts rose in 2019 for 18.6%. JD's services kept working during the Chinese Lunar New Year and the coronavirus outbreak.
Nowadays, JD.com, Inc. is working on developing its own cloud computing platform technology, aiming to become the preferred choice for the U.S. customers instead of the currently dominant Alibaba Group Holding Limited /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA +1.35% and its AliExpress segment.
COVID-19 just gave e-commerce an additional push
The coronavirus outbreak just pushed the inevitable. We were already on the path to rely more and more on cashier-less, digital and virtual reality, simply everything more autonomous than yesterday, and now we are forced to rely on e-commerce even more. The companies that recognize this will be awarded both with new and returning customers and will somewhat be able to amortize the hits of COVID-19 that brought the economy to a virtual standstill.