E-commerce giant Amazon has been at the center of revolutionary changes in the retail industry since its inception. From the acquisition of Whole Foods providing Amazon Prime customers with a multitude of benefits including same-day grocery delivery, to the expansion of brick and mortar storefronts, Amazon has been hard at work changing the landscape of traditional e-commerce companies worldwide.
One of its most ambitious projects involves cashier-less stores, and earlier this year the flagship self-checkout store opened its doors in Seattle.
The storefront, aptly named Amazon Go, is the company’s answer to inconvenient waiting lines in convenience stores. Shoppers do not need an Amazon Prime subscription to visit, but will need to download the company’s Amazon Go app on their phone if they plan on purchasing anything.
The store itself is decked out with a myriad of sensors and cameras which are so advanced, they give a detailed up-to-the-second picture of inventory changes. Anytime a customer picks up an item off of a shelf, the sensors detect the changes and with the help of computer vision technology, accurately charges a customer through the app for anything a customer picked up and left with.
With no human cashiers, shoplifting is an area Amazon must have a plan to combat. While it would be difficult to shoplift in a store filled with so many cameras and the undoubtedly awkward look of someone leaving the store without an Amazon Go grocery bag provided in-store, the company does not seem to be worried about the problem, with a representative revealing to The Verge there are no safeguards implemented to prevent this from happening,
Along with the inception of Amazon Books, a brick-and-mortar bookstore following the tune of the genesis of Amazon, Amazon Go will provide an interesting precedent in regard to the future of grocery shopping in-store.