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Just Walk Out retail spend to hit $45bn by 2023

Stores without checkouts to grow in popularity, says Juniper Research

Just Walk Out retail spend to hit $45bn by 2023
Checkout free stores will only account for 1% of retail spend, but they will still handle $45bn in payments by 2023, says Juniper.

Retail spending through ‘Just Walk Out' and other frictionless smart checkouts will reach over $45bn by 2023, according to Juniper Research.

The analysis company expects an uptake in frictionless payments, particularly in convenience stores, as retailers look for faster and more convenient ways to serve shoppers.

Retail spend through frictionless payments like Amazon Go store, where shoppers do not need to stop and pay for goods at a check out, is expected to be $253m this year. Transaction volume will grow by 150% per annum, but these ‘just walk out' stores will only account for 1% of all retail transactions by 2023.

Juniper's report, Future In-Store Retail Technologies: Adoption, Implementation & Strategy 2018-2023, predicts an uptake in technologies such as Amazon Go, Panasonic's robotic checkout and automated facial recognition payments to increase. Average transaction value will be $30.

The introduction to the report notes that new technology may offer a new direction for bricks-and-mortar retailers after years of technology - in the form of eCommerce - having a negative impact on traditional retailers.

"The retail industry has undergone a revolution thanks to the presence of eCommerce and its associated technologies. To a large degree this has been negative, as physical stores have struggled to compete with cheaper online-only offers. Major retailers have expanded their eCommerce offerings, but frequently struggled to compete against pure eCommerce companies online. However, there have been several recent technological developments that are both re-imagining what in-store retail is as a service and re-tooling it to offer similar features to eCommerce. This research aims to provide a guide to the current and future state of these technologies."

Retail technology is shifting at present in areas such as mobile pay apps, self checkout, as well as ‘click & collect' services, and Bluetooth beacons used for push notifications and tracking of shoppers.

Heavy promotion of contactless payments by smartphone vendors, and the ramping up of self-checkout since 2015, have laid the way for consumers to expect easier checkout processes and the possible dispensation with the checkout altogether.

Initial uptake of ‘just walk out' will be slow until more standardised layouts are established, which will bring deployment costs down. The setbacks faced by current efforts mean that it will take until 2021 to have more than 2,000 outlets with smart checkout technologies deployed.

  • These first deployments, in line with movement seen from both JD and Amazon, have generally been deployed in convenience stores before reaching other types of retailer. This means that average transaction values will be kept relatively low, compared to average retail spend per visit overall. As a result, Juniper anticipates that it will take until 2022 for the global average spend per visit in such stores to exceed $30.

Juniper also notes that China is leading the sector, with many ideas such as unmanned stores, and facial recognition for payment, already underway in the country.

The analyst company also expects that alongside of Just Walk Out technologies, self-scanning apps, will be a popular alternative, in use by 32 million shoppers by 2023.

Other retail technologies will include AR, and Bluetooth beacons that can be used to connect to shoppers, which will be a $1.5bn market itself by 2023.

Retail customer service is also being impacted by technology, with voice assistants and in-store robots increasing. In-store robots will generate $20m in revenue by 2023, Juniper said.

"Many of these technologies can bring multiple benefits to retailers" remarked research author James Moar. "For example, Robots and RFID can be used in both customer service and inventory management; making both elements of in-store retail more efficient."

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