Amazon is launching a bricks-and-mortar retail store which promises no lines and no checkouts. Instead, you can just walk out of the store without paying for your groceries. This is the start of what looks likely to be Amazon’s big push into the physical retail space.
Amazon’s new grocery store is called Amazon Go. The name derives from the fact you can just pick up your groceries and go. Which is thanks to what Amazon is calling its “Just Walk Out” technology.
This “Just Walk Out” technology combines “computer vision,” “deep learning algorithms,” and “Sensor Fusion”. The latter is described as “much like you’d find in self-driving cars“. This technology works together to ensure you get charged for whatever you remove from Amazon Go.
How Amazon Go Works
So, how does it work?
You enter the store by scanning the Amazon Go app, and then you can shop till you drop. Whenever you pick something up to buy, it’s added to your Amazon account. And when you leave the store you’ll be charged for your purchases without having to queue or chat aimlessly with a cashier.
This means you’ll have to trust Amazon to charge you the right amount of money for the right goods. It also means Amazon will know exactly what groceries you buy and how often you buy them. And even what groceries you pick up and then put down again.
The other clear effect this kind of retail store will have is to reduce the need for actual human employees. There are bound to be security guards and people keeping the technology up and running, but cashiers will be a thing of the past.
Amazon Wants to Dominate Retail
Amazon is starting small with a 1,800-square-foot retail space in its native Seattle. At the time of writing this first Amazon Go store is being tested by Amazon employees, but it’s due to open to the public in the new year.
However, according to The Wall Street Journal, this is just the very beginning of Amazon’s bricks-and-mortar ambitions. The online retailer wants to grab a slice of the physical retail space in order to helping it control the flow of goods from warehouses to consumers.
Amazon Go is just one part of the puzzle, with drive-thrus and warehouse-sized discount stores also being planned. It’s claimed the company ultimately aims to open 2,000 stores across the United States.
Amazon has dominated the online retail space for some time now, so the obvious next step is to expand into the real world. Still, it’s pretty ironic to see the online retailer that put so many bricks-and-mortar stores out of business now moving into their territory.
What do you think of Amazon Go? Would you want to shop at a store which promises no lines and no checkouts? What do you see as the potential pitfalls of such a concept? Will Amazon succeed with its bricks-and-mortar stores? Please let us know in the comments below!