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Amazon Go Isn’t the Only Seamless In-Store Shopping Experience

Call it the Amazon Go effect, but retail tech providers are rolling out their own solutions designed to make the in-store shopping experience, and paying for purchases, as seamless as possible.

Enter Wirecard and SES-imagotag: the digital payments provider and omnichannel tech vendor are teaming up to bring a mobile-driven in-store shopping experience to retailers and consumers.

If the lines wrapping around the block were any indication, consumers were excited to try the new kind of shopping experience promised by Amazon Go. No lines, no hassle, no fumbling for cash, coins or cards. Customers liked it so much, apparently, that Amazon is mulling new U.S. locations, such as Los Angeles, for six additional Go stores, according to Recode.

Wirecard and SES-imagotag are banking on the growing interest in new, consumer-tech-powered shopping journeys to drive the success of their new omnichannel retail product.

The checkout queue is among the biggest pain points of in-store shopping: shoppers have already expended considerable energy gathering items from around the store and sometimes, standing in an interminable line at the cash wrap can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

That’s one of the things that Wirecard and SES-imagotag are addressing. Their solution puts digital tags on store shelves, or in the case of apparel, puts “fashion tags” on garments that replace traditional security hardware. Shoppers use their smartphones to scan the digital tag via QR code or NFC. Instead of just accessing the item’s price, scanning can push to the shopper rich information such as coupons, product details and more. The goal: bringing a bit of the online experience—with its never-ending supply of reviews, product info, photos and more—into the physical store.

The icing on the cake for Wirecard and SES-imagotag, of course, is the anytime-anyplace checkout. Once shoppers have finished gathering and scanning their items, they simply check out by choosing their preferred payment option. The two companies have integrated China Payment Solution in order to ensure compatibility with the Chinese market in addition to Europe and elsewhere.

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Wirecard did not immediately respond to a request for additional details about security, shoplifting and other issues. For example, questions remain about what happens when a customer scans a tag but then changes her mind and puts the product back, whether the shopper see a running tally of scanned items as she’s shopping, and what kinds of measures are in place to safeguard against shoplifting. Even Amazon Go suffered a few losses when good-intentioned shoppers weren’t charged for items they scanned, or thought they had.

The move to improve in-store shopping seemed to start years ago with queue-busting via mobile POS. Nordstrom Rack notably was among the first movers, offering on-the-spot checkout to customers paying with plastic. Self checkout was a big shift as well, and as automation takes hold, it may be just a matter of time before cashiers are a relic of the past.