Imagine a scenario where you enter a grocery store to buy your products for your day-to-day needs. You pick up the products you need from the shelf, put it in your bag. For the checkout, you simply walk out of the store and your account is charged for the products you buy. You don’t have to wait in a line for checkout. Sounds pretty fascinating, right?
Well, it is no longer a fantasy. Amazon has made this a reality. The company has announced grocery stores that goes by the name — Amazon Go.
When you enter the store, you need to log-in to the Amazon Go application on your smartphone. Once you are in, pick up the products that you want and just walk out with the products. So, you must be guessing how do you pay? Well, remember that you logged-in to your Amazon Go account? When you leave the store, it scans the item that you bought and charges your account for the same. Amazon calls it “Just Walk Out Experience”.
The company has revealed that it is using few cutting-edge technologies to make this store a reality. The technologies include computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. These are the same tech that are used in self-driving cars.
The “just walk out technology” automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, the company will charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt via app.
With Amazon Go, the company is aiming to preserve the traditional shopping experience while enhancing the same using technology. Besides preserving the traditional experience, it removes hassles like long queues and checkout lines.
The first Amazon Go store is located in Seattle. It is a pilot project and could roll out to several other cities by next year. The store, which is still in beta mode, is currently open only for the employees of Amazon. However, the store is smaller than the conventional store — just 1800 square feet.
The store contains food items for ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options that are made fresh every day by the company’s on-site chefs, local kitchens and bakeries. The selection of grocery essentials ranges from staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates.
While the company first conceived the idea a few years ago, it filed patent last year. This isn’t the first physical store business of Amazon. Earlier, the company had launched a couple of bookstore. However, they are not tech-enabled.
The introduction of Amazon Go goes on proving that the e-commerce is not suitable for all categories. Even though Amazon sells groceries on its platform, and delivers the order on the same day to Prime subscribers, the company felt the need to open a physical store.
With Amazon Go, the company has brought the ease of online shopping to physical store. If this experiment of Amazon works, then it could be a game changer.