Brilliant Director of Product on E-Commerce
Gaurav Hardikar is an e-commerce innovator focused on enhancing the online retail experience. While online retail continues to grow, e-commerce technology is beginning to make an impact in traditional retail. As Gaurav explains, the convenience of online retail is currently being piloted in brick-and-mortar stores to reshape the buying experience.
The Future of E-Commerce
Over the past decade, it’s pretty amazing to see how much e-commerce has evolved. For example, the scale of online retailers like Amazon is reshaping how people shop. However, we’re starting to see large online businesses like Amazon have an impact on brick-and-mortar retail as well.
For example, think about the introduction of Amazon Go. This is a new approach to grocery shopping where customers do not have to check out or wait in line. Instead, the items that they pick up off the shelves are monitored in the store and they are billed after leaving. As a result, you have this mix of in-person convenience with the speed of e-commerce.
Currently, most consumers are comfortable with purchasing clothes or other goods online. However, Amazon Go represents the first time that e-commerce principles have been applied to immediate purchases. This is much different than FreshDirect or other food delivery services. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how this model will affect the brick-and-mortar experience at other retailers.
Most importantly, this model represents everything that people love about Amazon. But, this goes to another level. For example, everyone has an Amazon account – just like everyone has a Facebook account. With this, there’s an ease to the transaction process that makes it very desirable for today’s consumer. Now with Amazon Go, this convenience is going one step further with being able to physically select items for purchase.
In the end, this shouldn’t be viewed as the “end of brick-and-mortar.” Instead, it’s a great example of how e-commerce principles are making an impact on improving traditional interactions. While Amazon is virtually everywhere and has massive inventory capabilities, there are still items that you can’t find on Amazon. As a result, non-Amazon retailers can leverage tech partnerships to improve their shopping experience.