Amazon Go is an actual, physical store without cashiers


Now that’s a twist. The company who helped revolutionize shopping and is at the forefront of the online retail market now wants to go offline. Last week, Amazon presented its new store, Amazon Go. The promise behind it is simple – no cashiers, no lines, just walk in and out without worrying.

First of all, let’s look at what Amazon tells us in its infomercial. To enter the store, customers need the Amazon Go app. They touch a sensor with their phone and walk in. Then we get to the buying part. Amazon says that “anything you pick up is automatically added to your virtual cart”. That means that all products on the isles are kept track of, probably with some kind of sensors. And, if you decide against a product, those same sensors will pick that up and take the product off your shopping list. Once you exit the store, you automatically pay for anything purchased with the app.

So that’s the process. Seems pretty simple, but it’s actually probably pretty complicated and Amazon doesn’t really explain it in depth. But considering they just did a two minute video, that’s to be expected. The first store has actually opened up already in Washington, but it’s for employees only. The company says we can expect to see stores for the public as early as the beginning of 2017.

Now, the store looks pretty cool, but the concept itself raises a couple of questions: First of all, what happens to all the shopping data? In a world where Big Data is a business model for many companies, customers should ask themselves those questions. But aside from all the complicated technological and ethical questions, simple questions like – What if my phone dies while inside the store? – are also left unanswered. Regardless, Amazon Go is an interesting concept that we’ll keep our eyes on.

 Pic: © Simon
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