Amazon Inc. announced on Monday that it is testing a grocery story without checkout counters in Seattle, San Francisco.
No More Lines
The concept store lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves whilst electronically monitoring what items have been picked up, and sends a bill to their Amazon accounts if they do not replace them.
Customers tap their phones near the entrance, and are logged onto the store network and Amazon Prime accounts. The technology is called Amazon Go.
The scheme, which is currently in it’s beta testing mode, uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence through sensors to track what items have been picked up and who picked them up.
The items are put on your Amazon Prime cart if they’ve been picked up. If they’re put back on the shelf, the items are removed from your cart.
Amazon said, this project has been in development since 2012. It is being tested by Amazon employees in a store near Amazon’s offices, but will be officially open by 2017.
According to the Wall Street Journal, if all tests go well, Amazon will open more than 2,000 grocery stores. Amazon is also considering “different formats” of the store, including a drive through, where drivers could pick up items whilst in their cars.
Amazon currently already delivers groceries through online store “AmazonFresh”.
Analyst of Jackdaw Research, Jan Dawson said, “It is a great recognition that their e-commerce model does not work for every product,” explaining that “physical stores would complement its AmazonFresh service”.
Phil Lampert, a food marketing expert said: “The technology is amazing. When you look at the store itself in the video, they have done a great job of merchandising, and having “meal kits” available is simply brilliant.
As the meal-kit industry struggles due to the shipping/logistics aspect, Amazon Go could be a venue where they could succeed.”