Introducing the New Amazon Shopping Experience
If you live in the Seattle area, you’ll now be able to experience Amazon’s latest futuristic store – Amazon Go.
A test pilot project, this 1,800-square-foot mini-market features all the regular staples found in convenience stores, such as soda, chips, sandwiches, condiments, etc. However, they also offer upscale ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options from local kitchens and bakeries. If you’re looking for a quick home-cooked meal, you can pick up one of the Amazon Meal Kits after work. It contains all the necessary ingredients to make a chef-inspired meal for two in 30 minutes.
If you take a closer look at the inner workings of the store, you’ll notice one big difference from the Piggly Wiggly down the street: there are no registers or cashiers. What you will notice when you enter the store are gates that guard the entrance. These barriers only allow customers that have Amazon’s Smartphone app to enter. Once inside, when shoppers are done, they pass through the same gates and their credit card is automatically charged for the items in their shopping basket.
Having recently opened in January 2018, customers in the Seattle area are getting used to Amazon’s high-tech gadgets around their city.
The automated checkout process is simple. When a customer takes an item from the shelf, it automatically goes into their online shopping cart. If the customer puts the item back, it’s removed from the cart. The virtual basket totals up everything and charges the customer once they leave the store. Customers can quickly check their app’s basket at any time to see a running balance of the total items in their bag.
There are hundreds of small cameras throughout the store and Amazon has declined to comment about how the system works. There are no special security chips on every item, which means that Amazon’s advanced technology must be able to identify every item in the store and put it in the correct virtual cart based on data from your Smartphone.
Amazon says they have reallocated employees, having them focus on restocking the shelves and troubleshooting any technical problems that customers may experience. Additionally, an employee must be in the wine and beer section to check customers’ identification before they can remove any alcohol from the shelves.
Once you leave the store, Amazon will send you an electronic receipt.
While purchases in the store almost feel like shoplifting, the checkout-free hassle makes it easy for people to avoid lines, quickly checkout before work or during their lunch hours.
Currently, Walmart is testing a cashier-less store to compete with Amazon’s latest pilot project. Walmart is focusing on testing their personal shopping project on higher-end city shoppers, not the typical core demographic that shops at Walmart.