Amazon’s automated convenience store, known as Amazon Go, will finally be open to the public on January 22. The checkout-free store has remained in beta for Amazon employees since it was first revealed back in 2016. Its public accessibility now comes as exciting news, especially as the venture was originally meant to be open to the public at a much earlier date.
Amazon Go Store: What is It and How Does it Work?
So what exactly is the concept of Amazon’s checkout-free store and how does it work? Essentially, customers are prompted to scan in with the Go app upon entrance to the store. From there, an AI system is able to detect the items that customers take from (or return to) shelves. Upon leaving the store, Amazon will charge a customer’s account with their shopping spree, and a receipt will be sent from there.
Ultimately, the Go store makes for a convenient way to shop for your necessities without the need to interact with other people. If anything, the only interaction required is with an Amazon employee in the alcohol section. Customers will need to have their IDs checked before taking any alcoholic beverages off the shelves. Clearly, the Go store is a step up from the self-checkout system that other retailers practice.
While some may not mind self-checkout counters all that much, Amazon’s Go store has an upper hand in its efficiency. Customers can simply walk in, take something off the shelves, and walk out without having to make a stopover at the counter. Furthermore, the concept also eliminates the hassle of long checkout lines.
Despite the appeal of its efficiency, Amazon’s Go store is not without its downsides. For one, its selection of products may not be the most vast expanse, especially compared to more mainstream groceries. Reportedly, its line of products leans more towards the side of ready-to-eat meals, snacks, produce, meat, and drinks.
Where is the Amazon Go Store Located?
— Amazon.com (@amazon) January 21, 2018
The only Go store thus far is found in downtown Seattle. As of late, there remains to be no plans to expand and put up other branches just yet. As per reports, there may be a possibility of Amazon opting to sell this concept to other retailers. However, such speculation has yet to be confirmed.
What Does This Mean For the Future of Retail?
With Amazon’s technology, it’s clear that other retailers may be wary of what’s to come. Amazon’s concept of the Go store is ultimately a threat to how other retailers currently operate. Should the concept take off into the mainstream, the jobs of current cashiers and employees at retailers face a risk of potential elimination in the future.