With much of Retail shut down for an extended time due to the Coronavirus scare, shopping on the high street may never recover as consumers are forced to shop online for everything other than food and medicines. Amazon however are hoping that retailers will adopt their new Just Walk Out solution which for those retailers that do reopen would transform shopping into a checkout-free experience.
First launched as Amazon Go sandwich shops and then rolled out as Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon’s checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Later, we’ll send you a receipt and charge your account.
For Amazon Go and Amazon Go Grocery you need an Amazon account which is charged for your purchases. If a retailer deploys Amazon Just Walk Out technology no Amazon account will be needed as shoppers would enter the store with a credit card, grab what they want and just walk out. Amazon provide all the necessary technologies to enable checkout-free shopping in a retailer’s store and offer retailers 24/7 support via phone and email.
The solution works best in places that have high demand, long lines, or wherever customers are pressed for time. Although there is no need for checkout workers, retailers would still employ staff to greet and answer shoppers’ questions, stock the shelves, check IDs for the purchasing of certain goods and generally be much more accessible to help shoppers than by being fixed at a cash register.
Amazon would oversee the installation of the technology which can take as little as a few weeks from the time work starts. For new store builds, Amazon work with retailers as part of the construction or remodel plans. For existing stores, Amazon work with retailers to install the technology while minimizing impact on current operations.
Will Amazon Just Walk Out technology become widespread? Amazon certainly hope so and many consumers would probably, once they got used it it, appreciate being able to grab the items they need and leave without the checkout queue.