Amazon is reportedly targeting airports as future locations for its cashierless Go stores, according to a report in Reuters.
The Reuters story doesn’t have many details other than the Los Angeles and San Jose airports being specifically contacted by the retail giant as possible Go locations. However, airports are a natural location for Amazon’s convenience store chain.
First, airports are busy places where lots of people want speed and efficiency — the perfect audience for Amazon Go. Having a cashierless checkout store where you walk in, grab what you want and leave without standing in line seems like the best kind of retail experience for an airport’s high-traffic setting.
Airports are actually a pretty common target for automated retail experiences. Briggo’s coffee robot launched in the Austin airport earlier this year, and Cafe X has said airports are a natural fit for its coffee robot as well.
In addition to a potentially robust sales channel with a captive audience, for Amazon, there is always data to be mined. As Reuters points out, 350 million people got on flights at the country’s 12 top airports last year. That’s a lot of regional sales data, and data around what travelers purchase, but also travel data about individual account holders could be used to feed Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. Knowing how often you go to airports or tying your calendar with upcoming trips into Alexa, gives Amazon a deeper understanding of you, which could be used to sell you more stuff.
Amazon’s move into airports isn’t guaranteed, and as Reuters says, many airports are public, which would require the famously secretive Amazon to share terms of any proposed deals publicly. That may turn the company off the notion.
However, we know that Amazon is on a massive hiring spree for its Go stores, so a big rollout beyond its existing seven stores is on the way. Chances are good that you’ll be shopping at one on your way to a future vacation or business trip.