“Is it really okay if I just leave?”
People are still getting used to Amazon Go, Amazon’s bricks-and-mortar store where you do not have to check out to leave with your items. According to Observer, “To shop there, customers scan their phones at the entrance of the store; the Amazon Go app tracks what they pick up, adds every item into a virtual shopping cart—just as on the Amazon website—and charges them after they leave the store. If a shopper takes an item off the shelf and then returns it, the app will remove it from the virtual shopping cart.”
A combination of app, movement-detection cameras, and unique graphic ID codes on the products is what makes this shopping experience possible. Of course, the system is hardly perfect—for example, highly similar products can be confused by the cameras, which need to be trained up to identify each product. And the more similar the products, the more training required to tell the difference. But that’s less of a problem for the customers than for Amazon.
Customers will not only find a lack of checkout lines convenient, but they will also enjoy that real-time inventory tracking keeps the shelves stocked. So, there is still work for store employees—at least, for now.
At the moment, Amazon is focused on rolling out this technology in additional Amazon Go stores—meaning Whole Foods customers will have to wait a while for this experience—the experience that reportedly feels like stealing. Ironically, stealing is all but impossible. This fact will no doubt be reflected in their future prices, likely encouraging other stores to implement similar systems.
So, while that good deal at Amazon Go may seem like a steal, with your Amazon Go app, you will definitely have it covered.