Imagine a world where you could pop into your local supermarket, pick up your shopping and walk straight out without queuing at a checkout. That’s the world that Amazon envisages, and one that is set to become reality next year with the launch of the e-commerce giant’s physical grocery concept, Amazon Go.
As announced in a video on Monday 5 December, Amazon Go outlets will offer a unique blend of e-commerce and high-street retail, and deliver what Amazon is calling a ‘Just Walk Out Shopping Experience’.
With no checkouts in the stores, shoppers will have to download the Amazon Go app, and scan a QR code to enter and exit the shop. Items will then be added to a shopper’s digital cart as they pick them off the shelf – and removed when they’re put back. Once they’ve left the store, everything is simply charged to an individual’s Amazon account.
It’s all made possible by a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, the same technologies that are being used in driverless cars.
Each shop will sell a range of grocery products, as well as ready meals prepared by on-site chefs. They will also supply Amazon Meal Kits, which include all the ingredients required for a meal for two. At around 1,800 square feet, the stores will be smaller than the average supermarket, or, as Amazon says, “conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast.”
The company plans to open its first Amazon Go outlet in Seattle next year, kicking off a 20-store pilot program in the United States. As reported by Business Insider, it hopes to open up to 2,000 “multifunction” stores across the country within the next decade.
While there are currently no plans for an international roll-out, it’s hard to imagine Amazon Go not catching on overseas, especially as it represents a more revolutionary development than the slightly gimmicky Dash Buttons that were launched last year.
For now, why not sit back and enjoy the video below, which offers a glimpse into the future of retail?
Amazon Go will let customers leave a shop without having to queue at a checkout