Amazon Go

Amazon is reportedly going to split its forthcoming new co-headquarters across two cities. If that report turns out to be true, you can rest assured that each of those towns are guaranteed to get their own Amazon Go stores. And if past is prologue, according to a news study shoppers will treat those Go’s more like a restaurant than a grocery store.

InMarket recently studied shopper behavior at Amazon Go stores in Seattle and Chicago over September and October. Here’s what they found:

  • Peak visits to Amazon Go happen during business hours. Noon, 2 p.m., and 1 p.m. bring in the most visits, followed by 8 and 9 a.m. InMarket concludes that customers are stopping by for breakfast and lunch.
  • Wednesday was the busiest day of the week, followed by Thursday and Friday. It should be noted that three of the five locations studied are closed on weekends. InMarket said that even adjusting for this did not change the weekday peak.
  • For those Go stores open on weekend, during Saturday and Sunday traffic plummeted and was a fraction of what foot traffic is for the average grocery store in the U.S. on those days.
  • Of those that shop at Amazon Go, 44 percent do so multiple times, indicating a pretty good retention rate for the burgeoning chain.
  • The median time in an Amazon Go store is 27 minutes. Have you ever spent a half hour in a 7-Eleven? For a store that is only around 2,000 square feet, that’s a pretty big chunk of time. InMarket says the reasons for this could be either because people are staying and eating, or because they’re apprehensive around the grab-and-go, no cashier checkout.

Given our own experiences with Go stores, it’s not that surprising to see how people are using them. The fresh sandwich and salad options are really quite good at the Go, and the experience of shopping there is seamless. It makes for an easy way to grab a quick (yet satisfying) bite during lunch.

Additionally, the traffic bump in the evening suggests that Amazon meal kits could become a hit with busy office workers looking for a fast solution for family dinner.

Hopefully InMarket will re-visit these numbers soon, as Amazon is opening new stores at a pretty rapid clip. Will frosty winters in Chicago impact how often people go to the Go? How much time will busy New Yorkers spend inside the store? Looking further afield, how will Amazon Gos impact other convenience stores? (7-Eleven is already trying its hand at cashierless technology.)

One thing is for certain, no matter where its next HQ(s) is/are, Amazon continues to spur innovation across the food retail sector.

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