How clearly do we remember the long queues near the cash counter when shopping at a local store on the weekends? How restless did we feel checking out the big baskets filled up with products and groceries that almost everyone in the line in front of us had and how it felt like an eternity had passed before we actually got to the checkout with our own?
Well, Amazon is all set to revolutionize all that. Earlier this week, Amazon launched its first high tech physical convenience store called Amazon Go. It is a new kind of store with no checkout lines and offers the simplicity of just “Grab-and-Go” to the customers.
It leverages the world’s most advanced shopping technology which refrains the user from waiting in the line at all. The store works with the new Amazon Go app. The customer is required to use this app to enter the store and then simply put the phone away and start shopping. As the customer picks up the items, Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology keeps track of them and automatically adds them in their virtual basket and if they put them back on the shelves, the items are automatically removed from their virtual basket. Once the customer is done with their shopping, they can simply exit the store with their purchase without lining up for payment. Amazon will automatically charge your account and send the receipt on the app.
Four years ago, Amazon conceived the idea of a cashier-less store with no checkout lines. They wanted to push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go. This gave birth to essential components of the whole system: Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping.
They have used the same technologies for their checkout-free store as self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Amazon Go app is required to enter the store. From there on, Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and later adds them up on exiting the store and automatically charges the user’s Amazon account and send the receipt.
The store reportedly offers delicious ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options freshly made everyday by on-site chefs, local kitchens and bakeries. Grocery products like bread, milk, cheese, chocolates etc. It will also showcase products from well-known brands, Amazon’s Meal Kits etc. for a quick home-cooked dinner containing all the ingredients needed to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes.
THE RECEPTION AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
In the age where enterprise giants are competing to lure customers to their products and trying to make their services more available through drones and faster delivery, Amazon Go seems to be going the opposite way and improvised the way of conventional shopping. It’s “Grab-and-Go” feature troubleshoots the main problem of the customers in retail stores and if executed correctly, will establish the online retail giant as a popular brick and mortar store as well.
According to an article on The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is planning to open 2,000 grocery and convenience stores across the US which will rival the existing retail giants like Target, Walmart etc. The store is around 1,800 square feet of retail space is conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast.
Amazon Go is currently open to Amazon employees in beta. It is located at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street. The store is expected to open to the public in early 2017.