Imagine you need to pick up a few things at the grocery store. You’re running late but figure you have enough time to get what you need and still be able to:
- get to work on time
- pick your child up at the bus stop
- make your meeting and/or
- arrive at your boss’s dinner party at an acceptable time.
You grab what you need at the store and head to the checkout aisles but the lines are long. You choose what you think should be the shortest line, but then the person ahead of you decides to pay by check. While a manager is called to approve the transaction you debate whether to i) abandon your items and leave the store or ii) suffer the wait and know you’ll be late.
Now imagine that you don’t have to worry about checkout lines. You go into a grocery store, pick out what you need, then head out of the store without checking out, swiping a card or waiting in line.
Amazon is figuring most people would prefer the latter option and have announced a new way of shopping — Amazon Go. Just as the company changed the way people read books and shop online, Amazon is trying to innovate the experience of shopping in stores by completely eliminating the checkout process.
Amazon calls this “Just Walk Out ” shopping.
This video shows you how Amazon Go works:
When you arrive at the store, you scan your Amazon Go app on your phone then select the items you want to buy. The items are added to your virtual shopping cart as you take them off the shelves.
If you change your mind, you can put an item back on the shelf and it will be deducted from your virtual cart.
Place the items in your bag or (physical) shopping cart and continue shopping until you have everything you need. Then walk out of the store.
That’s it. No lines, no check out, no swiping cards, scanning items, no waiting. Just walk out of the store.
The items in your virtual cart will be totaled and billed to the credit card you have on file with Amazon. You’ll get a receipt for your purchases in the Amazon Go app.
Amazon Go Beta
As wonderful as this Just Walk Out shopping may seem, it’s not available to the public just yet. Amazon is testing an 1800 sq ft (167.23 sq m) convenience store with its employees in Seattle, Washington.
If you want to check it out, head to 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.
The store will be opening to the public in early 2017 and will offer ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, as well as groceries such as bread, milk, cheeses and locally made chocolates. They will also carry Amazon Meal Kits with ingredients and instructions for you to make meals at home in about 30 minutes.
What You’ll Need to Shop at Amazon Go
If you want to try out Just Walk Out shopping when the store opens, you will need three things. Only one Amazon Go store has been announced, so first of all, you’ll need to be in Seattle. Second, you’ll need to have an Amazon account with a valid credit card registered. Third, you’ll need the free Amazon Go app loaded onto your smartphone.
The Amazon Go app isn’t available yet, but should be by the time the store is open to the public. You can sign up at the Amazon Go page to get an email notice when the Amazon Go store opens to the public.
The Future of Amazon Go Stores
According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is planning to open 2000 Amazon Go stores in the future, ranging from smaller convenience stores to larger stores rivaling Target or Walmart. The company reportedly is considering other options to “Just Walk Out” shopping, such as curbside pickup and drive-through models.
Would you shop at an Amazon Go Store? Vote in The Wonder of Tech poll:
What do you think about Amazon Go shops? Would you like one to open near you? Do you like the idea of Just Walk Out shopping?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
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