Amazon just unveiled the convenience store of the future, with no lines and no checkout: meet Amazon Go.
The 1,800-square-foot supermarket gives a glimpse into how Amazon plans to revolutionize physical retail with a high-tech convenience store and an app.
How It Works
Amazon Go eliminates checkout lines, but that doesn't mean that shoppers won't have to pay for the items they get. Instead, Amazon Go is designed with a power combo of sensors, computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence to make things easier for customers, allowing shoppers to just grab the products they need and walk out. According to Amazon, its new convenience store uses the same types of technology as self-driving cars.
Customers will use the Amazon Go app to enter the futuristic store, and the app will automatically add the items they get into a digital shopping cart. Upon walking out of the convenience store, Amazon Go will charge their account and send a receipt for their purchases within the app. This means no more waiting in line at the register, which should significantly reduce the time it takes to do grocery shopping.
"Our 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," Amazon explains. "When you're done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we'll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt."
What Will Amazon Go Sell?
The futuristic grocery store will sell regular grocery essentials such as milk, bread, as well as ready-made food, snacks, sweets, artisan cheeses and more. This should neatly complement Amazon's online shopping services such as Prime Pantry, Amazon Groceries & Gourmet Food, Amazon Fresh and more.
At 1,800 square feet, Amazon Go will clearly not be as large as other supermarkets out there, but it banks on convenience rather than a large assortment of all kinds of items — at least for now. Amazon says its convenience store is "conveniently compact" so that customers can walk in and out and get what they need without wasting too much time grocery shopping.
When And Where
For now, Amazon Go is still experimental, and it's currently running a closed beta. The store is located in Seattle at 2131 7th Avenue, on the corner of Blanchard Street and 7th Avenue, and is open only to Amazon employees for now. Amazon Go is set to open to the public early next year. Interested customers can sign up to receive more information when Amazon Go is ready to open its doors to everyone.
If all goes right, Amazon plans to build as many as 2,000 such futuristic stores across the United States in the next decade.
Should the beta turn out to be successful, Amazon Go could be a true game-changer for how we do our shopping in physical stores. Check out the video below to get a better idea of how it would work.