New technology is helping Milwaukee Bucks fans return to the action faster when purchasing beverages at the Fiserv Forum.
Last week, the arena opened The Market by Michelob ULTRA using Amazon's "Just Walk Out" shopping experience on the main concourse. The Bucks are the first in Wisconsin to use the technology, which allows fans to grab drinks and snacks without waiting in line to check out.
Shoppers insert a credit card before they enter and select their items. When they exit the store, fans are automatically charged for the items they took.
"It's a camera-based system, and ties you to your credit card," said Sharlan Edmonds, the vice president of hospitality for Fiserv Forum and the Deer District. "You can walk in the store with your whole family, everybody can shop and the technology knows everyone who's with you. But it all gets tied to the one credit card that was inserted."
Customers also have the option to sign up for Amazon One, which allows them to use their palm to pay.
Edmonds said the new technology was a hit with fans when it launched last week and has reduced the amount of time spent waiting in line.
"It literally takes seconds to walk in, see what's offered, take what you want and walk out," she said "I have yet to see a line form within the store because the process is so fast."
In a statement, Fiserv Forum Senior Vice President and General Manager Dennis Williams said the new technology gives fans a "quick and frictionless" experience.
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"The Market by Michelob ULTRA is another reminder that Fiserv Forum is continuously raising the bar for world-class experiences, and we are thrilled to be the first location in the state to unveil this new shopping experience," Williams said.
Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services Applications Dilip Kumar, in a statement, described Fiserv Forum as "the beating heart of downtown Milwaukee" and said Amazon was "thrilled" to partner with the venue.
"Equipping this store with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One is the result of an ongoing collaboration between (Amazon Web Services), Fiserv Forum and Levy, focused on identifying new ways to creatively apply technology to elevate customer experiences," Kumar said.
While the technology aims to enhance the game day experience, Edmonds said it was also aimed at helping the Bucks respond to the ongoing labor shortage.
"We were looking at all the technologies that are out there (because) we're still in a staffing crisis," she said. "We don't know when it's going to end, if it's ever going to end."
Being the first in Wisconsin to deploy the "Just Walk Out" technology, Edmonds says, shows that the Bucks organization continues to look for ways to enhance the fan experience. Prior to the partnership with Amazon, the Bucks launched a mobile platform that enables customers to order snacks without missing the game.
She said the Bucks are also looking at other technologies to enhance game days.
"Amazon was just the beginning, and we'll definitely be looking at possibly doing a second ('Just Walk Out' store) or bringing in some other technology," Edmonds said. "We're looking at some other things down the pipeline here coming soon."