Four challenging questions for credit unions based on a CUES staff member’s visit to this cutting-edge store.
Before I could enter Seattle’s Amazon Go store this June, I was required to download the Amazon Go app to my smartphone. I was able to do this within a minute. Literally.
As I walked through the turnstile into the store, I scanned the app. Then I shopped. Amazon had one worker onsite to handle stocking and answer questions. But I didn’t need to talk with him, nor did I need to check out with a cashier. I could simply grab my selection and “go”—just as the store name implies. My payment method of record with Amazon was charged when I left with my fresh fruit and Starbucks iced coffee. (After all, I was in Seattle.)
At one point, I had an item in my hand and decided not to purchase it. I simply put it back and the system knew. Kind of creepy, but really cool.
I’d guess that the average shopping time of the people in store was under two minutes. People came in, got what they wanted and left. Easy peasy. I was there during the morning commute and patrons would swoop in, get breakfast for now or lunch for later, and head to work.
Here are four thoughts for credit unions based on this new and unique experience of mine:
1. How could you do more to merge digital tools into your physical locations? I don’t mean just by making your branch “look” techy, but actually having tech serve a need of people in that physical space?
2. Which of your processes that your members currently use is as seamless as my experience with Amazon Go? Which ones are close and you could bring them up? Which ones are lagging a lot?
3. Do your executives and/or board members feel like every interaction with the member needs to be highly personal? My experience with the Amazon Go store suggests that some people in your membership would be completely happy with superbly done self-service, at least in some cases.
4. A very high percentage of your members always have their phones with them. How are you using this fact to build your relationship with them?
Kari Ann Sweeney is the supplier sales manager at CUES.