The news that Amazon is launching its first bricks-and-mortar store in 2017 has left a few people scratching their heads.
Known as ‘Amazon Go’, the online retailer’s new concept, which is four years in the making, really is the first of its kind. It’s a shop with no checkouts. No queues. And is essentially, a ‘just walk out’ shopping experience giving new meaning to the word ‘convenience’.
Located in Seattle, Washington, where the 22-year-old brand is headquartered, the 1,800 sq ft concept store is currently in beta mode with Amazon employees. When it launches early next year, it is expected to sell perishable goods such as bread, milk, and cheese, as well as pre-made snacks and fresh meals. Sure, this all sounds great, but how will the concept actually work?
Amazon’s answer is: “by pushing the boundaries of technology”.
Amazon Go uses the same types of technologies found in self-driving cars, such as computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. This technology is able to detect when products are taken or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a customers’ virtual cart. Once a customer leaves the store with their goods, Amazon charges their Amazon account and sends a receipt.
All you need: an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the free Amazon Go app. It really is that simple.
Amazon attempting to take on the big grocery chains is a challenge in itself. But if it has managed to find a way to eliminate all the hassles associated with the shopping experience, then it could change the game for all retailers.
It’s clearly far too early to predict its success, but it will be interesting to see whether retail has really stepped into the future, or whether Amazon Go will end up just like Pokémon Go? Barely hanging on by a thread after all the hype.