Has Amazon figured out how to scale its Go cashier-free tech to bigger stores?
Amazon is known for doing things in a big way. So, it should come as no surprise that the e-tailing giant is reported to be working on a way to put deploy the technology behind its Amazon Go convenience stores in much larger store environments.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is working at a location in Seattle to test how it needs to adjust the technology based on a bigger footprint. Higher ceilings and more items to track are two of the challenges Amazon is looking to address in the test, which is set up to look like a big box store.
In the current seven Amazon Go stores, customers with the Go app are tracked by a variety of technologies including “computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion” as they enter and move around the location. Items are automatically added to a virtual shopping cart when a customer takes them off the shelf. When all done, customers simply walk out with their products and Amazon bills their accounts.
The most obvious choice for future deployment appears to be Amazon’s own Whole Foods chain, but a physical store destination for the technology is not yet clear. Neither Amazon nor Whole Foods would comment on the report to the Journal.
The high cost of operating stores with the technology has also been raised as concern for the small Amazon Go locations, so it’s far from clear how that will factor into the tech’s viability in larger environments.
Another concern if the tech were to be deployed in Whole Foods is how it would affect the customer experience in the store.
“They need to be careful not to break what has made that business successful in the first place,” Dennis Keim, a Whole Foods customer told the Journal.
- Amazon Tests Its Cashierless Technology for Bigger Stores – The Wall Street Journal
- Amazon Go still plans to transform convenience in retail stores – RetailWire
- Will the tech behind Amazon Go redefine convenience at retail? – RetailWire
- What would 3,000 AmazonGo stores do to the U.S. retail landscape? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest challenges Amazon faces as it attempts to port its Go technology to larger store environments? Do you see the technology as a fit for Whole Foods or do you think Amazon will seek to deploy it in some other big box concept?