Amazon Supermarket Has No Checkouts
As we move more and more towards a cashless society and an easier way to purchase products on and offline, it’s no surprise that Amazon has taken the initiative to make our shopping experience that much faster.
Seattle has been the testing ground for this new concept, where staff has been testing the store for about a year. Inside the store, there are hundreds of cameras and electronic sensors used to identify and track each customer as they shop.
When entering the store, each shopper has to pass through and scan their smartphones, which must have the Amazon App downloaded and active. They are then able to stock their bags with any products from the shelves. There are no trolleys or baskets in the store as there is no till to scan products.
Once finished, shoppers are billed on their credit cards as they leave the supermarket. There will be no human interactive throughout the entire experience and shoppers may only be stopped if they need to verify identity when purchasing alcohol.
By using their Amazon Go account, the sensors will add all items placed in the bag to the customer’s account and delete any that is placed back on the shelf. They will also receive an electronic receipt as they leave the store.
Although steaming ahead, there are minor issues with the experience when identifying shoppers with similar body types and children moving items to the wrong shelves.
Anil Gandharve, Global Head of Retail, CPG and Manufacturing at Mindtree
“Amazon’s bold move exemplifies just how today’s retailers are increasingly disrupting the traditional approach to physical stores; enhancing them rather than replacing them.
Though we are entering a new age of retail, bricks and mortar stores aren’t simply going to disappear in the blink of an eye. Instead, we can expect to see the next generation of customer engagement being delivered through the widespread deployment of emerging technologies. In doing so, this will enable retailers to better understand certain purchasing decisions, provide data-driven answers to understanding key market trends, and, crucially, understand the catalysts for success.
If retailers want to stay ahead of the competition – just as Amazon has - then implementing new in-store technologies should be a cornerstone of their approach. But, most importantly, the maintenance of the balance between humans and technology will help to create a personalised and tailored shopping experience to keep customers flowing through the door.”
How it works:
· You scan a QR code as you enter the store using your smart phone
· There are infra-red cameras that scan to differentiate each customer as they shop, these are also used to tell items a part, even if they look similar
· Weight sensors detect when an item has been removed from the shelves and tells when it has been replaced. Some items also have dot codes, so cameras can identify them
The shopping experience has been coined “Just walk out” and seems to be leading the way for retail shopping in the future. More accurate information on how the system works is being held back by Amazon, but one thing is for sure is that we will be seeing and hearing more in the early future.
Brian Olsavsky, Amazon chief financial officer hinted: “You will see more expansion from us – it’s still early, so those plans will develop over time".