Will You Go with Amazon Go?

2016-12-06_2210Yesterday, Amazon revealed a staggering innovation: At stores equipped with Amazon Go technology, you’ll essentially be able to walk into the store, pick up what you want, and walk out.

Granted, was going through checkout lines really ever that big of a hassle? It’s actually a rather helpful service–I don’t know about you, but I usually pick up more than a cheesecake cupcake, a chicken bahn mi sandwich, and two sparkling orange juice bottles when I go to the grocery store.

But still, technology is at its best when it looks like magic, and that’s exactly how this appears. You’re not scanning items as you pick them off the shelves. Rather, Amazon Go uses a variety of sensors and software to identify who you are (you scan in when you enter the store) and what you put into your cart. It even knows when you take something from your cart and put it back on the shelf.

When you’re done, you just walk out, and Amazon charges you using Amazon Payments.

For stores, it seems pretty awesome, as it could completely eliminate shoplifting. Though the setup must be immense–I wonder if that will be too big of a barrier to entry for most stores.

I do think it’s pretty cool that Amazon–a website that wants you to buy stuff online–has created a technology that promotes buying stuff from brick and mortars. It almost seems like they have some bigger master plan in play…

Would you use this service? While it wouldn’t save me much time, and I feel bad for cashiers who would lose their jobs, it does seem pretty cool. I like things that feel like the future.

8 thoughts on “Will You Go with Amazon Go?”

  1. Yes! I heard about this on the radio and I would absolutely love to try it. However, I can see myself overspending. “Everything looks so good!” *Stuff everything in bag* And yeah, I see that it will like away some jobs…

    You know, this reminds me of the kiosks at St. Louis Bread. Customers can get frustrated with those though. I witnessed an older gentleman who was trying to use one and walked out hungry because he just didn’t know how to operate it and didn’t want to ask anyone. He stood there for a good five minutes trying to order before walking out. I hardly see anyone use them when I’m there. Amazon Go is easier to operate. Scan, grab, and run.

    • That’s a good point–you won’t feel the cost of the money as much since it will be automated.

      And I like how the system might be friendly for people who aren’t very tech savvy!

  2. To me it looks like Amazon wants a part of the grocery market. This is consistent with their recent online offerings. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start their own chain of supermarkets or, more likely, buy one of the established chains.

    I guess they have to as the supermarkets all appear to be offering catalogue shopping services of late. Here in the UK a major supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, just bought the long established catalogue shopping chain Argos, whilst Tesco already have their own catalogue shopping offering and other stores offer a click and collect service too. The immediacy and convenience of these ‘click and collect ‘ in store services, for both the customer and the shop, could seriously erode Amazon’s market share.

    • That makes sense, yeah. There was a time when I thought I’d use those services, but I’ve found that I can’t always fully conceive what I want until I’m browsing the aisles of a grocery story. It’s one of the few places I prefer to shop in person, but perhaps that’ll change.

  3. In Indianapolis Amazon started delivering for a local grocery called Fresh Thyme. My local Kroger/Payless allows me to shop online and get my groceries delivered to my car. My cousin who has a 1 year old says she gets her food delivered to her house and they give her a 30 minute window to choose from. Next year I’m moving to chicago and will be out of town 4 days a week, and probably going without a car. I’ve been looking more into the delivery side.

    I think the stores including amazon Pantry, need to step up their discovery system, but right now I’ve got recipies that I want to try, or dishes I know I can prepare, and just take my shopping list, search for it, and I’ve only stepped into the grocery a few times in the last few months.

    I don’t know what to make of this offering from Amazon, its definitely something I’d try out, but not sure if I’d travel out of my way to use it regularly, even if it were in the town I lived in.

  4. This is WITCHCRAFT and I want to try it. I will add that while it may take away one or two jobs, stores still need employees to stock the shelves, handle returns and customer service, help people find things, etc. And quite frankly, for the first little bit in a store like this, probably several people on hand to get the technology set up, answer questions, reassure people it’s working. Even cashiers rarely ONLY check people out, so there will still be employees, but it’s true that it might be a couple fewer than before.

    • Witchcraft indeed. 🙂 And that’s a great point, it probably wouldn’t have a huge impact on jobs (and it would create jobs for people who install the systems).


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