Amazon has done it again. With services ranging from Amazon Web Services to cleaning your house, now Amazon has provided a new take on convenience.
On January 22nd, 2018, Amazon has opened up a convenience store in Seattle, Washington Amazon Go that has no shopping carts, cashiers nor check out lines.
How does it work?
- Enter the store by scanning unique QR code that connects your location and presence to the Amazon app
- Select any grocery items and feel free to put them back
- Leave the supermarket and your virtual cart will be updated with your grocery items
- Receive a receipt and your Amazon cart is charged
The ease of the experience comes with robust technology tracking users. All around the store are various types of trackers similar to those used in autonomous vehicles watching your moves and actions. Amazon filed a patent about 2 years ago for a technology that uses RFID to know when an item is off the shelf and links back to your mobile device. They must also be using this data to track customer journey data to better understand consumer behavior and preferences. This can also be used for inside your app experience to further market their goods and services.
Time Poverty, the idea that there is not enough time to do everything you want to do is alleviated by Amazon Go has executed. While it is extremely appealing, the idea of virtual payment methods that you cannot physically see or touch is alarming. It has started to change how we buy things in this world. Not having the hassle, in highly consumer societies, there is a tendency to spend, spend, spend without thinking about your finances. While you don’t have to wait at all, the idea of removing the check-out process, makes me believe that Amazon just wants people to shop more and specifically at their store. This is a huge competitive advantage. Amazon, similar to Google, has a secret sauce they do not share with the rest of us. They have a creep factor where they want to dominate across all markets to have an aggregated data set about you for marketing purposes.
Bottom line? There is a time and place for every technological exploration and execution. With that comes many open-ended questions to this innovative solution from adoption w/ non smartphone users, labor replacement, shoplifting, rolling out to other cities, data protection etc. We will have to see its progress and responses from consumers and competitors.
Here is a link into their promotional video and an excerpt: So how does it work? We used computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion, much like you’d find in self-driving cars. We call it “Just Walk Out” technology. Once you’ve got everything you want, you can just go. When you leave, our “Just Walk Out” technology adds up your virtual cart and charges your Amazon account. Your receipt is sent straight to the app.