For those who haven’t heard, Amazon is opening a store called ‘Amazon Go.’ Below is a quick compilation of information derived from watching the Amazon Go commercial on You Tube this past week: http://bit.ly/2hQOyYr
What, Where, When
Amazon Go is a food store for purchasing on the go items and food staples including but not limited to condiments, beverages and produce. What makes the store so unique is that there is no checkout or cashiers to process payment. ‘Amazon Go’ is scheduled to open in early 2017. If you live in Seattle and are reading this, the location address is 2131 7th Avenue.
How to Use
- Install the Amazon Go app on your phone
- Scan your phone as you enter the store
- Select Products
- When picking up an item off the shelf, it is added to your tab. If you change your mind and put the item back on the shelf, the item is removed from your tab.
- After you exit the store, your receipt is sent to your app.
How Does It Work
The advertisement lists several terms to describe how the process occurs including Computer Vision, Deep Learning Algorithms, and Sensor Fusion that are united to form something that Amazon calls “Just Walk Out Technology.” I’m not exactly sure what the technology entails, but am not surprised that they didn’t explain how the system works on the commercial. Who would give away their secret sauce recipe?
I initially began to wonder who the target market is for Amazon Go – perhaps millennials and urban professionals? But then quickly remembered that the company this blog entry focuses on is Amazon. Jeff Bezos wasn’t put on the cover of TIME Magazine for simply selling books. Rather than adapting content to fit the context, Amazon’s strategy has always been the reverse. Amazon’s ways of speedy service, low prices, and high efficiency have played a strategic role in how their products and services have changed the way Americans function on a daily basis including shopping methods, entertainment preferences, and the addition of Sunday delivery to name a few.
The idea of forgoing customers service in favor for a faster shopping experience may seem pleasing to some, but what about cashiers becoming obsolete? Please remember there has been an increase in technology spurred automated services for some time now, including machine operated assembly lines, online payment systems, and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). The potential of a mobile app replacing cashiers at the grocery won’t be the first time an industry has dealt with significant job losses caused by technological advancement.
What will grocery shopping be like in ten years from now, or shopping anywhere else for that matter? It’s too early to tell, but with Amazon’s track record of changing the world, I’m preparing for the possibility of no longer needing to take my wallet into the store.
Robert Endo is the founder and Engagement Manager of Intrepid Data, LLC,
Intrepid Data is a full-service developer that builds platforms for web-based applications