Thanks to some exciting new technology it has developed, Amazon is testing a brick-and-mortar grocery store in downtown Seattle called Amazon Go that lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever standing in a checkout line, scanning their groceries or fishing for change.
All customers do is tap or swipe their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk in, which logs them to the store’s network and connects them to their Amazon Prime account via an app.
Machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence efficiently track the items customers pick up, which in turn are added to the virtual cart on their app. Should they decide to put something back, the no-hassle app simply deducts the item from their virtual shopping cart.
When the customer leaves, the app aptly totes up the sum total of purchases, and charges their Amazon account.
Amazon, the once-online-only retailer, which has dubbed its latest shopping aid “Just walk out technology,” has said that this amazing new way of shopping will be open to the public in early 2017. If its low-touch customer service model is well received by consumers, it might trigger other chains to use similar setups in order to cut down on labor costs, in turn posing critical questions for the wider retail industry.
Sources: USA Today, The Washington Post