Over the past five years, we’ve seen a quick integration of self checkout lanes and virtual reality in the retailing experience. Some find it to be extremely beneficial while many still prefer the human interaction that comes along with traditional checkout lanes. However, the fact that they are here for the long haul remains unchanged.
With that in mind, Amazon stepped up its game by unveiling its store which requires no checkout. It might feel a lot like pick-pocketing as you can’t a hole being burnt in your wallet. Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology uses the Amazon Go app to charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.
How different is it from a normal grocery store?
Essentially, there is no difference at all. You browse through the store, get what you want and instead of waiting in a line to leave without breaking any law, you just walk out. Nevertheless, this store shall have computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning replacing all human aspects apart from restocking the store.
To draw a parallel, one can compare this store to a self driving car and as in the case of self driving cars, this advancement has resulted in a great amount of hysteria and divided opinions.
Tracking the movements of the customer within the store works well in the store’s interests as it facilitates better targeting, upselling customers on more products, effective changes in layout and proper monitoring of trends. That’s precisely why companies like Euclid, Nomi and RetailNext have already incorporated it in their retailing experienced. What hasn’t previously been done is providing the direct interaction of a smartphone with real world items thus attaching the item to the individual as being done by Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology. By combining the customer’s shopping history with his tracked movements across the store, Amazon strives to improve the shopping experience by making it more personalized.
By keeping the details of how the Just Walk Out Technology works hazy, Amazon has ensured that its store in the beta stage in Seattle serves as the only portal to future retail. With a launch for the public scheduled in early 2017, Amazon has left us wondering how it’ll prevent people without the Amazon Go app from entering the store or how it’ll prevent nuances which might arrive on separating billing from buying.