When walking into the Amazon Go stores, the process is quite simple: walk in, grab what you want, and walk out. Throughout the process, the store is adding items to your bill, which will be charged to your Amazon account promptly upon leaving the store. This combines the ease of online shopping without having to wait for delivery or deal with the hassle of credit card information.
Amazon is not new to the grocery world, as many of their products in the Amazon Go store are the same as those in which you might find on the shelf of a local Whole Foods, the grocery chain now owned by Amazon.
Foods offered in these stores include breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner, ready to eat or to enjoy later, all prepared in-store or locally, according to Amazon.
Rather than a shopping cart, your phone acts as a virtual cart for the items which you carry out in shopping bags. For this process, you must have the free Amazon Go app installed and once you use it to get in, you can leave your phone in your pocket and the rest is done by the store.
Amazon’s website explains that this is all enabled by the computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, all types of technologies being used in self-driving cars.
They stated that their reasoning for the development was to find the ways to push the limits of their computer technology in a way to create the ultimate shopping experience: one without checkouts or lines, allowing their customers to simply “take what they want and go,” simplifying the process of shopping.
Although there are no checkouts, there are still workers in store to help.
Associates deal with tasks ranging from those offering technical help, remaining in the kitchen and prepping ingredients and making the food, and stocking the shelves, to those in the liquor section checking IDs for the purchase of alcohol.
While the store is currently only open in Seattle, Amazon has not implied any plans for further expansion-or anything for the future of Amazon Go for that matter.
Predictions include opening a chain of the stores, or possibly selling some of the technology just as they have with previous innovations.
The Amazon Go store, which first opened its doors to the public January 22, 2018, can be visited at their Seattle location Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 9 PM.