無人商店步上風口

無人商店步上風口

楊惟雯

 

近年來,大陸零售業現代科技的應用,已經走到了世界前列,

比如移動支付、電商O2O…等等。當下,又多了個熱門話題:“無人售貨商店”。

 

一、AI人工智慧正在改變我們的生活

 

我們的世界正走到一個萬物聯網的資訊化世界,而當物聯網的興起和大資料的應用碰撞在一起,則正在激發了一個偉大的人工智慧時代。

 

不管您願不願意,不可否認的是,人工智慧正在改變我們的生活,看看現況:

圍棋上,谷歌的AlphaGO實現60連勝;

藝術上,人工智慧可以繪畫製作;

醫療上,人工智慧對惡性腫瘤的正確檢測概率比普通醫生提升50%;

工業產業上,工業機器人使生產效率提升3倍;

即時翻譯上,實現30種語言的翻譯功能。

所以,牛津的學者說:十年之內,AI將變得足夠聰明,並消滅40%以上的職業。

人類的生命價值,正在重新定義…….

 

二、無人零售成了新零售的代名詞?

 

隨著人工智慧科技應用日趨成熟,零售業“無人化”技術正逐漸步入廣泛商用階段。

自2016年12月美國亞馬遜試水”Amazon Go”開始,無人商店業態即引起零售業界的廣泛關注、競相探索,也迅速發展。

無人便利店模式,也已在大陸零售業刮起了一股創新風潮,從無人便利店到無人超市,到辦公室無人貨架,無人零售幾乎快成了新零售的代名詞。

 

Amazon Go 的發展優勢在於購物流程較為簡單,它將實體店和網購的優點結合起來,消費者在店內選購商品,購買結束後不用排隊,手機裡的亞馬遜 App 會自動完成付款,由此可以避開效率低的工作人員且節省排隊時間,購物效率大大提高。

但 Amazon Go 也有其局限性,由於目前其實現成本過高,以及技術仍存一定的局限,未來仍待努力,但它啓發的圖像識別技術,依然是未來的發展方向之一。

 

雖然 Amazon Go 在未來幾年內可能都是象徵意義大於實際意義,不過,它可能會像 echo 一樣,剛開始各種不靠譜,經過三、五年持續投入技術提昇,最後進化成吞噬一切的怪物。

根據Amazon的商業模式推估,Amazon Go 的路徑通常是不計成本的做一套應用,看看能獲取的價值,然後再商業化。

 

三、“無人”零售模式的劣勢何在?

 

雖然,無人商店打破了傳統零售在時間、空間上的局限,但它目前在實際運營中,尚存在某些方面的不足之處。例如﹕

1、貨物損失,盈利難度大

以華潤萬家推出的Vango 無人便利店為例,開業當天總銷售額為1.67萬,可實際收到的付款額為1.37萬。

因為無法當面付錢,最後只能通過一些防盜系統來對損失的錢進行追蹤處理。

但實際意義上來說,這種事後處理的難度係數很大,後果也可想而知。

 

2、智慧化產品故障,使用者體驗下降

除此之外,一些智慧化產品出現故障造成的使用者體驗下降,也是“無人”便利店急需改進的地方。

以亞馬遜Amazon Go無人便利店為例,在進行內部員工使用測試後,因出現支付故障而推遲了開業時間。

“無人”便利店在解決技術故障的同時,還應該優化顧客購買產品的流程,這樣才能最大限度的提高用戶體驗。

加上無人店面積過小,且如果人一多的話就顯得比較擁擠,購物感覺並不太好。

 

3、暫不支持退換貨,購物體驗並不良好

無人店內的商品包括零食、酒水、日用品等,通常暫不支持退換貨。這就和傳統商店的服務性質差遠了。

 

4、與傳統商店價格比較,並無價格優勢

雖然無人店這一模式有利於節約人工成本,但智慧設備折舊成本也高,致商品售價也沒便宜。目前消費者表示他們只是嘗鮮,體驗下無人超市的購物流程。

 

四、無人商店的三種技術路線

 

目前,無人商店有三個技術流派:物聯網流派(RFID),物聯網流派(手機掃碼),人工智慧流派(深蘭科技的零售大腦)。

其中物聯網模式相對比較成熟,可以應對各種複雜的場景,同時可以提升供應鏈全流程的運營效率。

而未來主流趨勢是人工智慧流派,因為只有它才能真正提供便捷購物(拿了就走),為 B 端和 C 端降低成本,提高 B 端效率。

 

例如Amazon Go 的技術方案並不是 AI 驅動的,其核心作用的還是 RFID,在用到 AI 的部分,其應用效果是極其有限的,例如物品只能放回原位,放錯位置會引起系統崩潰。這足以證明其電腦視覺在識別物品方面起到的作用僅比計數要好一點。

 

另一個阿里的無人超市——淘咖啡。馬雲和張勇在不同場合都說無人超市僅是嘗試,事實上開了幾天就撤掉了。從技術角度來看,阿里無人超市的核心解決方案部分也是 RFID的水準。

 

當然,不論是 Amazon 還是阿里,裡面都用到了 CV,主要用在人臉支付方面。但是人臉支付的難度也並不高,大約是 1:100 的識別問題(進出門閘機起來作用)。

 

實現無人零售必然是技術先行,要討論用了什麼技術必須瞭解必須解決什麼問題?無人零售的基礎問題就是無人收銀或無人防盜的問題。

所以, RFID 可能會被淘汰,或在個別場景運用。未來,AI 分量會加重,但是短期內無法起到決定性作用。目前為止,RFID 和 CV 的識別效果是一樣的差、貴且麻煩,不同的是 AI 已聚集了大量精英人力投入,未來有可能突破。

 

而RFID 會增加運營成本,包括人力和財力,隨著圖像識別演算法的優化,RFID 肯定是會被徹底取代的。人臉識別更多的應用是在會員體系系統打通,刷臉支付、客流統計…..等。

 

未來技術還是需要服務于實際應用場景,例如如何解決 SKU 識別準確性,識別速度的問題,以及單店如何確保可以多人同時購物…..等問題。

 

綜合來看,目前技術解決零售結算就是靠識別人和物,所有識別手段有圖像識別(二維碼、人臉、商品圖片都是)、語音辨識、射頻識別(RFID,NFC)、生物識別(氣味、指紋、虹膜、掌靜脈),而技術方案的可行性主要考慮三個因素:技術成本、識別成功率、用戶接受程度。

 

而實際上,目前技術在零售場景具備較大可應用性就只有圖像識別和射頻識別,語音和生物應用還有待時日。

生物識別比如虹膜,雖然成功率高,但成本也高,而且無法用於將人和商品的購買關係識別出來,最重要的是用戶一直以來擔心虹膜識別對眼睛的副作用。

語音辨識成本不高,但是準確率低,用戶接受程度低,人們購買時依靠手和眼睛,無法接受靠說話買東西。

 

除了現在應用的主體技術——人臉識別技術,智慧便利店行業未來還會引入新技術,例如用戶畫像、消費行為分析技術、精准行銷、會員管理、社群運營、智慧零售終端等多方面技術,清晰地掌握現有和潛在的顧客特徵,建立使用者對社群的認同感和依賴感,從而啟動市場活力增加用戶粘性。

 

五、提高消費者體驗與零售商節省成本的再平衡

 

人工智慧技術,一方面是提高消費者體驗,另一方面是需要給零售商節省成本。如果不能達到,技術只是 Demo 而已。
所以,必須能實際應用的技術才有價值。無人便利店未來必然是各種技術綜合運用,目的提高效率,降低成本,改善購物體驗。

 

另外,無人零售方向尚有一個終極價值,就是流量資料價值。

其中,“無人”店作為前端服務環節,不僅為顧客提供了產品體驗,更重要的是獲取了回饋資訊,主要服務物件為商圈消費群體的描繪。

 

六、無人便利店將進入第二階段的洗牌階段

 

無人便利店即將進入第二階段的洗牌階段,這一階段的重點是技術和服務。
無人零售創業者和潛在創業者須注意﹕

1、目前,二線城市以下的不要輕易涉足其中,小城市區域性小場景很難做出來;

2、沒有產品優勢又沒有技術核心競爭力的公司,光靠燒錢是沒有前途的;

3、目前,存量市場比增量市場更值得耕耘。

 

因為,在智慧便利店這個業態裡面,“無人”並不是核心目的,便利店的核心關鍵點本質上,還是要看對零售生意本質的駕馭能力。

若只觀注前端的“無人”,是無法獲取最終的勝利,因為包括供應鏈管理、商品、品控….等在內的後端能力更為重要,也就是說,精細化運營是非常重要的。

 

就目前的 Amzon Go來看,它就像是一個燈塔,雖然有人會質疑其的運營模式,但也因此得到啟發,從而找出自己的發展路徑,如此,才有智慧貨架、辦公室無人貨架、無人超市….等 2B、2C 不同的無人零售形態被挖掘。

 

在探索技術方案上來看,可以預見 RFID 技術在未來會被行業逐步淘汰,而以電腦視覺為主的 AI 技術比重將會擴大。總之,無人零售的角逐才剛剛開始起步。

 

七、無人商店的真正的競爭,未來是供應鏈的競爭

 

任正非有一段講話,彷彿是專門針對大陸實體零售業應用新技術的現狀有感而發的。他說:“互聯網虛擬經濟就是實體經濟的工具。不能把工具當成目的。鋤頭是用來種地的,不能因為鋤頭多、造型美,就在那裡耀武揚威,不去種地了!不種地,鋤頭沒有一點意義”。

 

其實,無人商店真正的競爭是供應鏈的競爭延伸,下一個階段的競爭主要是商品、運營、物流和大資料分析…..。

 

目前,無人零售整體發展還處於概念階段,各種形態、各種技術、各個場景,但沒有一個很好的產品。Amazon Go 這種超級重的模式適合巨頭自己培育,但像國內某些無人便利店這種重資產是否能算清楚帳目還是個問題。
而辦公室貨架雖然帳目清晰,但防盜損也是個問題。

 

綜合來看,目前大陸無人便利店市場已有超過 30 個玩家入局,目前已經進入了後端技術和供應鏈的比拼。
下一階段的競爭將主要體現在對零售本質的思考,玩家們對消費者行為的分析、後臺運營系統的運營、後端供應鏈的管理將會成為重點競爭力。

 

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