On Monday, Amazon opened its first cashierless store on the ground floor of its Seattle headquarters. The store, which is called Amazon Go, is more of a convenience type grocery store. It sells products such as milk, potato chips, liquor, ready to eat lunch and breakfast items as well. Amazon Go is very convenient for shoppers who like to avoid long cashier and checkout lines.
But how does it work? Before entering the store, shoppers are required to scan their Amazon Go smartphone app at a turnstile and also check in with their Amazon Prime account which has credit card information. Once an item is removed from the shelve it will be detected by cameras from above as well as weight sensors that sense exactly what is being removed from the shelve. Amazon will also be utilizing computer vision and machine learning algorithms in the one of a kind store. Each shopper will be gifted with a virtual cart. Each item removed from the shelf will be place in that cart. Once an item is replaced, it will be removed from the virtual cart. Shoppers who leave the store with items in their virtual cart will be charged from their credit card.
The store however, is not without employees. Employees will be there to check identification cards of shoppers who purchase liquor. Additionally, staff has to be there to prepare the meals and assist shoppers who need assistance. Even so, one may ask, wouldn’t it be easy to shoplift from a store that does not have a cashier?
Persons seem to think that the Amazon Go system is so robust that it would be hard to shoplift. For one, being that each shopper has to check in with the Amazon prime account would make it difficult. However, Amazon did report that for families to enter, one person in the group can check in everyone. Even though the weight sensor would recognize that an item was removed from a shelf, how would it charge someone who did not scan the app to enter or even enter a Prime account? Yes, the cameras can pick up persons removing items but what about persons who are of the same body type and size, especially children? Nonetheless, it’s still left to see who would be brave enough to shoplift from such a highly technologized store without being caught.
This is just another stepping stone for Amazon in the retail industry as it makes its presence more felt offline.
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