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Amazon Planning 3,000 Automated Stores: Report

Amazon is understood to have made the technology behind its Amazon Go stores scalable and has aggressive expansion plans

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon is mulling a plan to open up to 3,000 new Amazon Go cashierless stores by 2021, according to industry insiders speaking to Bloomberg this week.

The plan comes after the company reported that it was “really pleased with the retail growth” in its last quarterly earnings.

Go is Amazon’s cashierless store, which features “walk-out” technology and payment via a proprietary app. If the ambition is met, it would make Amazon Go the third largest chain of convenience stores by number of stores in the US.

The company has opened four Amazon Go stores thus far.

See also: Retail Intelligence Company Trax Raises $125 Million, Brings Cameras to Supermarket Shelves

It now wants to have at least 10 stores open by the end of 2018, 50 open in 2019, and then expand rapidly to 3,000 by 2021 in a highly aggressive expansion plan, Bloomberg reported citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

The plan suggests the company has got the technology behind the stores working in the way it wants and is now ready to scale it up.

Despite a patent posted in 2016, surprisingly little is known about the full workings of the store’s technology. It does not use RFID, as the patent suggested, but is reported to use weight sensors on shelves to monitor the movement of items, while scores of custom-made cameras use computer vision to monitor activity from above.

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In other Amazon news this week, the company is expected to outstrip Microsoft and Oath to become the third largest digital ad seller in 2018, thanks to a combination of robust organic growth accounting changes by the company, according to a new report by research firm eMarketer.

The forecast increases eMarketer’s estimate of ad revenues at Amazon by some 12 percent over the course of the year, thanks to stronger-than-expected organic growth, but the company will still lag by some distance the dominant Facebook-Google duopoly, which this year will account for 57.7 percent of US digital ad spending.

eMarketer expects Amazon to account for 7 percent of digital ad spending by 2021, saying: “Amazon has the ingredients for a truly powerhouse digital ad business”.

Changes to Amazon Advertising

The company reports: “Amazon is now making it easier to buy ads on its platform. Many buyers have complained that Amazon’s ad products were confusing and difficult to buy. On September 5, Amazon announced that all ad buying and reporting would fall under a new “Amazon Advertising” banner and be fully consolidated by the end of the year, with new names for many offerings.”

A complicated range of Amazon offerings, including Amazon Marketing Services, Amazon’s suite of cost-per-click-based ad formats including Sponsored Products; Amazon Media Group, the business unit that sold display advertising on Amazon properties and Kindles; and Amazon Advertising Platform, are becoming Amazon Advertising.


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