Shift4 Payments and Amazon are unveiling a collaboration in the world of stadium commerce with a partnership that aims to transform the way fans shop at sports and entertainment venues.
The “Checkout Free” Experience
The introduction of the "Checkout Free" Experience, powered by Amazon's Just Walk Out technology in conjunction with Shift4's VenueNext solution, seeks to deliver an easy, efficient shopping experience for fans at sports and entertainment venues.
Here’s how it works:
Upon entering the store, customers can initiate their shopping journey by scanning their mobile wallet linked with Shift4's VenueNext solution. The sophisticated Just Walk Out system autonomously tracks items selected or returned to the shelves throughout the shopping session. As patrons finish their shopping, they can simply exit the store, bypassing the need to stand in long checkout lines. Their VenueNext-powered mobile wallet will be automatically charged for the items they've chosen, streamlining the entire shopping process.
Understanding the Technology
Shift4 Payments has been making news in the fintech arena, primarily due to its payment volume growth. In the second quarter of 2023, the company reported end-to-end payment volume of $26.8 billion, a 59% year-over-year increase and 487% jump from the same quarter in 2019.
The driving force behind Shift4's payment volume surge is its strategic shift. While the company initially catered mainly to restaurants, it successfully expanded its reach into larger venues such as resorts, casinos, and professional sports stadiums.
According to Shift4 CEO Jared Isaacman, this expansion has been driven by the delivery of a "better commerce experience" for its clients.
This is where the Amazon partnership comes into play. Amazon, a pioneer in checkout-free shopping, is extending its "Just Walk Out" technology to businesses. It's not a physical device but a virtual point-of-sale system. In contrast, Shift4 continues to provide the software that seamlessly integrates these transactions into the broader business operations within venues.
Just Walk Out by Amazon
Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology is designed to change the retail shopping experience. It was first introduced to the world in 2016 with the opening of Amazon Go, a cashierless convenience store in Seattle. The concept allowed shoppers to simply enter the store, pick up items, and leave without the need for traditional checkout processes.
Since its initial launch, Amazon has been refining and expanding its Just Walk Out technology, opening additional Amazon Go stores and licensing the technology to other retailers.
The technology has the potential to further modernize the retail industry by providing shoppers with a frictionless, contactless, and efficient way to shop, aligning with the growing demand for seamless and convenient experiences.
Benefits to stadiums and arenas
The collaboration between Shift4 Payments and Amazon has the potential to accelerate commerce at large venues, translating into a more efficient and seamless shopping experience for customers. While it may not directly result in increased revenues, it expands the range of options available to Shift4's customers.
Alongside the advantages offered by the integration of Just Walk Out technology, venues have the opportunity to elevate the transaction experience by leveraging Shift4's other commerce solutions tailored for stadiums and arenas. This includes features like mobile ordering, point-of-sale systems, guest loyalty programs, kiosk ordering, and an array of other services designed to enhance the overall customer experience.
The evolution of checkout systems demands a broad spectrum of solutions that cater to every shopper's preferences. Contactless payment methods contribute to delivering an outstanding customer experience, and retailers are now in a race to integrate these technologies to offer the convenience that modern consumers demand.
These checkout options may become a key differentiating factor, determining whether a shopper opts for one retailer over its competitors. However, the path forward is not limited to current innovations; retailers must remain adaptable and open to emerging technologies, ensuring they can consistently meet the evolving needs of their loyal customer base.