Just Walk Out

Are we ready for Amazon Go?

Amazon Go video

Today, Amazon revealed it has been working on a new “Just Walk Out” shopping experience called ‘Amazon Go’, where shoppers literally walk into the store, grab what they want, and go! Couldn’t be any simpler! But in this day and age where the everyday consumer is still battling with self check out machines, monotonous alerts to unexpected items in the bagging area, and figuring out if the card reader is contactless or not, are we really ready for the grab & go shopping experience?

Amazon states that they are using the same technologies found in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning and by using all of this, its system can detect what you remove and put back on the shelf with ease. And yet, I cant help but feel this freedom to walk in and out as you please is giving too much scope for people to potentially take advantage of the system. I’m sure the team at Amazon have been working extensively on security to ensure its a smooth experience for consumers, but will it be enough? Many shoppers already worry about potential risks when using contactless and NFC mobile payment systems like Apple Pay, so it will be interesting to see how Amazon reassure customers that they are at little to no risk.

An Amazon Go store

Risk and worries aside, I find the idea to be a great one; the simplicity of the system is so appealing. Plus, anything that can efficiently eliminate the need for queues is perfect in my eyes. If I had pound for every time I’ve had to wait in what seemed like an endless queue, my wealth would rival that of Bill Gates. There have been times where I have dropped my shopping and left a store purely because the queue waiting time was unbearable! It’s honestly why I prefer to do all my shopping online; we seem to be a society that loves to queue! We queue in the bank , we queue for the bathroom, we queue to buy cinema tickets…we even queue to get on public transport! It’s almost comedic! But with Amazon Go, they’ve definitely brought the ease of online shopping in a very ingenious way; less time waiting to pay for your products and more time actually enjoying your shopping experience.

There is great potential to what Amazon could do with this; allow customers to walk in and pick up prepackaged bags of their items and go, a points scheme that offers money off at both Amazon Go and Amazon.com, and who knows, with a few more years and a lot more square space for stores, they could even rival other major stores.

Amazon have been running a successful beta of the system with Amazon employees so it will certainly be interesting to see how well they will do once they launch their first store in Seattle in early 2017. The ‘Just Walk Out’ shopping experience is one that could be implemented in many stores, but would that put jobs at risk or create new ones? Either way, Amazon Go is certainly a futuristic and unique way to shop.

Follow us @FWRDnow for more of these ideas and thoughts!

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