Amazon's Latest Physical Location Has No Checkout Lane

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Amazon's Latest Physical Location Has No Checkout Lane

By Tim Denman - 12/06/2016
Amazon is piloting its "Go" technology in downtown Seattle. The solution lets customers walk in, fill their bag, and walk out without ever stopping at the POS.
 
The e-commerce giant reportedly began working on the project in 2012, and is currently piloting the technology in a 1,800 square-foot test store open only to its employees. The store is expected to be open to the public in early 2017.
 
“Amazon’s announcement offers a clear roadmap for the future of CPG retail and will have an impact on brands and retailers in three key areas of merchandising, supply chain, and perimeter-store product innovation," said Justin Behar, CEO and co-founder, Quri. " What Amazon Go’s announcement articulates is a future of physical retail merchandising where shoppers do not tolerate out-of-stocks, spoilage, or inefficient trade spend to sustain sales and share for CPG brands. The data and technology to solve these fundamental problems exists — it’s a now a race for adoption."
 
How does the technology work? According to a FAQ page on Amazon.com it is a "checkout-free shopping experience made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. The 'Just Walk Out' technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, your Amazon account will be charged and you will be sent a receipt."
 
In order to access the experience shoppers would only need an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the free Amazon Go app. "Consumers today demand personalization, efficiency and convenience and Amazon has become very skilled in each, said Sterling Hawkins, operations and venture relations, CART. "It’s no surprise to see them bringing new ideas into the supermarket and convenience store space, which is long overdue for innovation. Consumers will undoubtedly respond very well to this new format of store leaving legacy stores in a place of needing to keep up. As it affects payments solution providers, if Amazon is true to form, they will have developed most, if not all, of the tech in-house. It will be interesting to see how this plays with legacy retailer frictionless payment initiatives.”
 
The pilot store features ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, and a selection of grocery essentials ranging from staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates.

“Today Amazon is a very big fish in a little pond," said Brendan Witcher, principal analyst, Forrester. By breaking into the physical retail space, the company is going after the majority of shoppers who still need a tactile experience and want products right away. With the launch of Amazon Go, a 100% mobile-enabled store, Amazon has done to retailers what NetFlix did to Blockbuster years ago: They broke the mold, threw it in the garbage, and said, "How can we rethink this experience completely?" It took Amazon four years to develop this solution, so retailers should now be thinking about how this new way of shopping might change customer expectations and disrupt their industry. Retailers who sit on their hands and fall too far behind this potential game-changing way of shopping might never catch up."
 
For more information on the "checkout-less" store and to see a video on the innovative technology click here