While the Amazon Go store official launch is still delayed, its Chinese counterpart, BingoBox just opened its second store in Shanghai, after a pilot in Guangzhou last year. Although this smart automatization store of 15 square meters and selling more than 200 products was globally seen as a copycat, it has now a better future than the American giants’ concept.
Pretty much like Amazon Go, in order to access the store, customers need to scan a QRCode but this one is delivered via a WeChat app. The customers shop as they please inside the store and when they need to pay, they put their product on the cash register that automatically identify them and ask for payment. The customer allow payment through the WeChat app or Alipay and will be charged on their WeChat account. When customers exit the premises, the security door will detect if every product were paid thanks to RFID security technology and then open the door. Customers can call assistance by a button in the store in case of question or trouble; there is also a lot of CCTV for security.
Most of the issues from the Amazon Go concept is due to technical difficulties. By replicating the concept on a smaller volume, BingoBox might have find a better business model. Its success might also come from the Chinese market which is more attracted to automatization. Finally, another functionality might give a competitive advantage to Bingobox: the store itself is mobile (it has wheel!). A great way to integrate a shop inside a Smart City ecosystem.