Amazon Go goes live
After nearly 14 months of testing its Amazon Go cash-free and cashier-less convenience concept with only its own employees, Amazon.com is ready to open the store to consumers in Seattle. Beginning today at 7:00 a.m. local time, the store will welcome any customers that have an Amazon Go app linked to an Amazon account.
As previously reported, the 1,800-square-foot store uses sensing technology that identifies customers using the Go app as they enter the location. When a shopper takes something off a shelf, the item is automatically added to their virtual shopping cart. Amazon bills the customers’ accounts when they leave the store and posts receipts to the app.
Concerns about the store’s ability to track and charge for purchases appear to have been answered to Amazon’s satisfaction. It was previously reported that the long test time for the Go store was related to problems with sensing technology when the location was crowded with shoppers.
Gianna Puerini, who is leading the Go project for Amazon, did not offer specifics, but said, “the system is highly accurate,” in an interview with The Seattle Times.
The store will offer everyday grocery staples such as bread and milk. It will also feature ready-to-eat meals and snacks made fresh on a daily basis by on-site chefs and local suppliers. Amazon Meal Kits will also be available for purchase.
Interest surrounding the store is largely due to its “just walk out” technology that bypasses the traditional retail checkout process. As of right now, Amazon is staying mum on plans to open further Go locations or export its checkout technology to Whole Foods.
In November, Bloomberg reported that Amazon had shifted from hiring engineers and research scientists for the project to construction managers and marketers, an indication the company is planning to build out the concept to other places.
- Amazon Go cashierless convenience store opening to the public – The Seattle Times
- Amazon’s automated grocery store will launch Monday after a year of false starts – CNBC
- Will other grocers beat Amazon Go to the punch? – RetailWire
- Amazon Go still plans to transform convenience in retail stores – RetailWire
DISSCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Amazon Go be a hit with shoppers? Do you expect Amazon to expand the store concept? Will it bring the technology to Whole Foods, as well?