Last week, I walked into a shop, picked up a chocolate bar and walked out. Wait a minute? I just walked out without paying?

Well, I did pay, just not in the usual cashier or self-checkout sense. It was at Zurich main station. There was an “avec box” showcasing the shopping experience of the future. The idea is to have unmanned shops where you go in, pick up what you want and walk out. It will all be paid using your credit card or payment of choice.

Ok, I admit I have a bit of a geek in me and I wanted to check it out. I had a few problems registering for the app, but I persisted and eventually, I could scan the door and enter. I looked around what seemed like a normal grocery store, decided on some chocolate, scanned the barcode and hit done.

I remember seeing something like this on the BBC News site a few months ago (1) and wondered what the experience would be like. The future of shopping is changing in so many ways.

What at first seems weird, novel or strange will someday become the norm. It wasn’t that long ago that they introduced self-checkout stations or self-scanning and these have quickly become accepted.

Retail is changing in so many ways. Is your business keeping up with the trends and changing? Time to go with the flow. Chocolate anyone?


1) BBC News – Inside Amazon’s till free grocery store video