Amazon Go: The new grocery store with no checkout lines


Amazon has opened its first convenience store today, giving shoppers a "Just Walk Out Shopping" experience with no need to stand in a line for the checkout.

The first ‘Amazon Go’ store in the firm’s hometown of Seattle opened this week and will serve as a model for other locations and retail stores.

Initially, the Amazon Go store is only open to the company's employees, but users can sign up to be alerted when it's available to all.

The store lets Amazon customers to shop for grocery staples, prepared meals and sandwiches, and then walk right out without stopping to pay at a cashier or kiosk.

Customers need only to scan their phone using the new Amazon Go app on the way in and out of the store, and their Amazon account will be charged for items taken.

Amazon says it is using a combination of AI, computer vision and data pulled from multiple sensors to allow customers to only be charged for the items the pickup.

This suggests cameras are used to track customer’s potions, which could lead to privacy concerns.

The first Amazon Go location is at 2131 Seventh Avenue in Seattle, Amazon’s home town. It will open to the public early next year.

Analysis: "consumers ready for automated purchases"

Hugh Fletcher, Digital Business Consultant, Salmon, said: “The imminent launch of Amazon Go signifies a move away from traditional bricks and mortar stores and towards a new era of shopping. Even if a shopping experience is in-person, not online, shoppers are constantly telling us that they want the same speed, convenience and user-friendly experience that online and mobile shopping provides. As retailers move away from traditional stores, we expect technologies like Programmatic Commerce – the concept of automatic purchasing through connected devices – to dominate the sector.

“Our recent study found that 57% of UK shoppers will be ready for fully automated purchases through IoT devices within two years. Programmatic can therefore drive a new age of shopping that is IoT-enabled, and allow retailers to feed the modern day customer who is now accustomed to a more direct, quick and convenient method of shopping. Amazon has been smart here – the brand was born digitally but knows that the future of retail is a perfect mix of online and physical. Amazon Go is just a trial but we would expect it to catch on.”

"Consumers willing to pay more for right retail platform"

David Saenz, UK MD of on-demand delivery platform, Stuart: "The launch of an beta Amazon Go store in the United States is yet another example of the continuing customer desire for the bricks-and-mortar store. This is where those retail stores who might have felt threatened by online aggregators, actually hold the advantage. With already established physical shops that can act as central-city warehouses, the high street is perfectly poised to cater to this demand.
"Yet we are still seeing a growing number of traditional retailers lose market share to those with an online-only offering. While it’s easy to suggest they lost out simply because they couldn’t compete on price, there is something else is driving consumers’ shopping decisions: a growing desire for convenience and speed.

"And so we have a growing disconnect between what the shopper of today expects and what their favourite high street retailers are able to deliver. One which is increasingly impacting the high street’s ability to expand. But this isn’t rocket science. Many high street brands have managed to master almost every element of the online customer journey. All except for one: delivery. That all-important ‘last mile’. Convenient delivery is nothing new, but for one reason or another the high street has yet to catch on. This needs to change. For those that do, there is a huge opportunity available. Consumers, given the right delivery options, are willing to spend £4.9bn a year more with their favourite high street retailer online.

"The message is clear to retailers; modernise and you’ll soon find yourself on a level playing field with the ecommerce giants.”

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