Amazon Go has opened its doors to the public, one year after the expected date. Better late than never, right? #todaymagic
Normally, we’d be wary of technologies and products that have a 12-month delay or more but we’re ready to give Amazon a break. What they’ve been testing and fixing in the past 12 months is a revolutionary shopping concept. Amazon Go is the first physical store without cashiers and checkout lines. The only people you’ll see here are greeters and kitchen supervisors. Really.
The AI store has just opened to the general public after rounds of beta testing. Fortunately, Amazon didn’t have to backtrack on its original promise – the Seattle shop offers a unique, stress-free, direct way of shopping where your phone does it all. In this store, you can find ready-made meals and Amazon Meal Kits, besides the standard grocery items.
After downloading the Amazon app – which can now be found in Google Play and App Store -, you just have to check in the store using the QR code presented. Then, forget about cash, lines and moody cashiers. All you have to do is take items off the shelf, put them in your shopping bag and leave the store when ready. The software developed by Amazon will know which items you picked up and will take the money from your Amazon account after a digital receipt is issued. Of course, that means Amazon will have more customer data than ever, enabling them to offer personalized offers and increase the retention rate.
But how does Amazon know which groceries you’ve dropped in your bag? Well, the store’s ceiling is packed with cameras that use facial, image, body and object recognition algorithms to tell what customers pick up. The accuracy of the system will be crucial to Amazon Go’s overall success, so we’ll wait a bit before congratulating the team.
We’re going to say this, though: if they do manage to offer a hassle-free experience (even when customers put products back on wrong shelves), Amazon will have reinvented retail.