We’ve seen the Amazon Go conceptual video a couple of years ago and wondered if such a concept will actually work. Now we’ll get to see it in action (well if you’re in Seattle) as the online retail giant is trying to make an offline breakthrough with its first brick-and-mortar convenience store which is finally opening on Monday. It’s not as big yet as a grocery and is more like a high-end 7-Eleven, but now we get to see if a cashier-less and checkout-less concept can actually work both technology-wise and real world-wise.
The Amazon Go store will have salads, sandwiches, beverages, ready-to-eat meals, meal kits, and even a small selection of beer, wine, produce, and meat. There is also a whole section of chips, cookies, and nuts, since Amazon has, after all, acquired Whole Foods anyway. But aside from all these choices, the store differentiates itself from other convenience stores since you don’t have to go through the whole lining up to pay for your purchases experience.
What happens is that you need to download the Amazon Go app on your phone and enter all the necessary details. When you come into the store, you have to scan it in the turnstile. Then go ahead and shop like you would in a grocery or convenience store. Every time you put an item in your bag, it will be added to your total bill. It uses a combination of cameras and shelf sensors. When you’re done shopping, you simply leave the store and the total amount will be charged to your credit card that you registered on Amazon Go.
On paper, this is a pretty great idea, especially for those who don’t want to line up and even interact with cashiers. The challenge would be to see if this will work in real life and if there will be no tech glitches when there are a lot of people shopping and that the correct amount will be charged. The first Amazon Go store will open on Monday on the ground floor of Amazon’s new headquarters on Seventh Avenue in Seattle.