Grandinetti spoke to a few examples that illustrates the points above. When Amazon introduced its book review function, for example, booksellers initially pushed back. However, the functionality was squarely focused on helping the customer, one of the company’s key principles, so the customer won out.
SVP International Consumer, Amazon Russ Grantinetti discussed the Amazon culture.
Implementing ‘one-click’ purchasing is another good example. The functionality allowed customers to purchase with one click. While a simple concept, implementing this was easier said than done but it put the customer first and skills were developed to make it possible.
Grandinetti was also keen to emphasis the importance of creating a safe environment in which to fail.
Robots – the new warehouse workers
Fulfilment centres aren’t the sexy side of retail, but they are possibly one of the most important. They are made ever more interesting when you throw robots into the mix.
Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist Tye Brady discussed the role of robots in fulfilment.
Amazon Robotics’ Chief Technologist Tye Brady detailed how his fleet of robots are used in fulfilment centres across the world to improve the efficiencies of packing orders. Brady’s enthusiasm for the topic was almost difficult to contain at times, and when they showed the video of one of his fulfilment centres, it’s not hard to see why.
According to Brady, there are 26 fulfilment centres worldwide using thousands of his robots. With an Amazon fulfilment centre just round the corner from our Dandenong office, it made me wonder whether there are a fleet of robots inside.
Could you get used to walking into a supermarket and walking out without manually checking out at the cashier’s desk?
Amazon Go is a concept store located in Seattle where shoppers can do just that. All you have to do is download the app and connect it to your Amazon account. Shoppers simply have to tap in using the app when they enter and the app will track all the products you pick up off the shelf. Once you have left the store you will be sent a receipt for the items and an invoice.
The store has already become something of a tourist attraction in Seattle. However, it’s not hard to see how the technology could quickly catch on. Whether Amazon choose to harness this technology for their own stores or license it to other retailers is still to be seen.
Voice apps explained
Did you know that Star Trek was the inspiration for Amazon’s Alexa? Imagine Captain Kirk in his captain’s chair talking to the ship’s computer. Now consider how you talk to your Alexa in your kitchen? While you may not be able to take things to warpspeed with the Alexa, the general idea is the same – a device that understands your instructions and serves you answers.
Amazon Alexa was inspired by the computer in Star Trek.
Country Manager Alexa Group Australia, Kate Burleigh spoke on the evolution of voice technology in her session titled: Alexa: Exploring ‘Voice First’ technology and human interaction. Burleigh discussed the fast growth the platform has experienced in recent times, with the number of apps available worldwide increasing 400% in the past year alone. In fact, there are already 15,000 skills available in Australia since the launch in February 2018.
ANZ Amazon Alexa Skills Managing Director Kate Burleigh spoke on the evolution of Alexa.
Salmat is currently in the process of developing its own apps so check back for more information on this in the coming months.
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