A future with cashier-less shopping experiences, is there anything Amazon can’t do?

By:  |  Category: Blog Wednesday, October 9th, 2019  |  No Comments

Imagine walking down the aisle at the grocery store, casually placing items in your reusable bags and as you ‘round the corner for the ice-cream you get an emergency phone call necessitating a speedy exit. Do you put everything back? Or do you quickly hurry to the check stand and rush through the check out process?

In an Amazon Go store you wouldn’t have to worry about either scenario, you’d walk right out and as you cross the turnstiles your Amazon account would immediately be charged. Cashier-less and worry-free.

Several of these stores actually exist, the first opening in January 2018 in Seattle. Currently, there are 18 locations in the Unites States. So how does the “Just Walk Out” technology work? With the Amazon Go app, a shopper can scan a code on the turnstiles as they enter the store, grab the products directly from the shelves and as they walk out it’s paid for through their Amazon account. It’s that easy.

The technology behind the scenes is a little more interesting, artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning that detects when a product is taken or returned and keeps inventory in a virtual cart. These stores aren’t equivalent to shopping malls though, so far the only items in an Amazon Go store would be what you would find at a mini-mart or gas station, food and drinks, toiletries and other small items. Excitingly however, there’s something more in the works.

Amazon is in talks to add the “Just Walk Out” technology to retailers in movie theaters, airports, and stadiums.

The first scenario we mentioned would now look entirely different, running late for a movie or a ball game and no time to stop for popcorn? Not anymore! About to board a flight and don’t have any reading material for the dreaded 7 hours it will take to cross the country? There would now be time to quickly pass by, grab the first book on the stand and still make it to the gate. No lines.

The technology used by the Amazon Go stores would be licensed out to other retailers, and the hope is to have “hundreds” of stores retrofitted and operating Just Walk Out by the end of 2020. The appeal is there, with no check stand, and no more waiting for a manager on duty to remove the box of cookies that’s no longer wanted, the sheer quantity of sales made in one day could skyrocket. 

Revenue for Amazon would skyrocket as well as already existing brick and mortar stores implement their technology, adding physical retail operation to their long list of products and services.

Only time will tell if the days of waiting impatiently in lines moving only an inch at a time will be a thing of the past.

–Emmy Seigler




Image Source: https://www.canva.com/design/DADnF41JTPs/HBdYmrvJkQwzer4uonD4mA/edit?category=tACFajEYUAM

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