26th Jan 2018
Amazon has given consumers a glimpse of the future of grocery shopping by opening a store with no checkout operators or self-scan tills. The store, announced last year, opened in Seattle on 22 January.
Cameras and sensors are used to identify each customer and track the items they choose. As they enter the store, shoppers pass through gates and swipe their smartphones using the Amazon Go app. Purchases are then billed to customers’ credit cards as they leave the store.
Rather than putting items into a trolley or basket that they would normally have to unload and repack after paying, customers to this store simply place their groceries straight into their bags. There is no human interaction required unless customers wish to purchase age-restricted items like alcohol.
An electronic receipt is issued as customers leave the store, which is created as they go around picking items up. Any items they put back are deleted from the receipt.
The Seattle store faced a few problems upon opening. The sensors sometimes struggled with the identification of customers with similar body types, and issues arose when items were moved to the wrong places on shelves.
Amazon’s store will give it an edge over other grocery retailers, as the lack of queuing will likely speed up consumers’ shopping experience. Amazon recently topped the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index, with an overall average score of 86.6.