Amazon Go is the Seattle based ecommerce giant’s new horizon in retail. It’s a shop where you just pick up the goods and go. There are few staff and no checkout. The shop itself just knows what you’ve taken by the use of motion sensors, cameras and all manner of other other technological wizardry.
And, according to reports, the third Amazon Go store has just recently opened in their home town of Seattle in Washington state. It’s the biggest of the shops to date sized at 2,100 square feet. The first Amazon Go store, which opened in January 2018 enjoys 1,800 square feet of space and the second store, which opened in August, is apparently 1,450 square feet. This new store, distinctively from the first two, doesn’t have an alcohol licence yet.
Of course, the most interesting aspect of the Amazon Go store concept is its experimental nature and potentially groundbreaking technology. It represents Amazon at its technological best in breaking new ground by building the shop of the future. It’s particularly notable that Amazon is continuing to experiment with this offline concept which wasn’t originally entirely successful. The first forays didn’t record all of the goods being taken from the shelves and the original launch was delayed.
And whilst Amazon has obviously made and received some patents, the checkout-less store is an eminently copyable concept and one which other retailers will doubtless be emulating at their earliest convenience. Amazon’s advantage is that they already have Prime and shopper accounts registered so when a visitor attends an Amazon Go outlet they already have their details and payment method on file. As they arrive they do quite literally just clock in to tell the shop who they are. As to whether that will be a long term advantage, as the technology develops, is open to debate.