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Amazon Go: cashierless experience

Hamida Mosharraf Moniea and Mohammad Khasro Miah | May 21, 2022 00:00:00


Amazon Go store in Brookfield Place, NYC. —Photo Collected

Amazon's cashierless stores are revolutionising the way people shop. Customers can get in and out quickly instead of waiting in a queue and running to the cash register to bag the groceries. While retailers like 7-Eleven, Kroger, and Walmart's Sam's Club offer separate checkout-free scan-and-go facilities, Amazon Go's "Just Walk Out Shopping" system has increased convenience. That's without factoring in the novelty and excitement of dealing with cutting edge technology. A few years since its first stores opened in the United States, it is eventually expanding globally, beginning with the United Kingdom. Amazon also offers the Just Walk Out technology to other retailers, expanding its walls. Last November, it collaborated with Starbucks to create a store with a cashierless checkout system. Starbucks and Amazon are partnering to establish a pick-up cafe in midtown Manhattan that will employ Amazon's cashierless technology to lure busy customers looking for coffee or snacks on the go. Starbucks' alliance with Amazon is the latest development in its strategy to adapt its stores to changing consumer preferences. Starbucks revealed over two years ago that it was speeding up plans to restructure its U.S. business, spurred on by the pandemic's dramatic shifts in how people wanted to buy and enjoy coffee. In addition to closing down as many as 400 stores in around two years, the proposal involves installing additional pick-up locations in crowded metropolitan markets and erecting walk-up pass-thru windows, pick-up windows, and double drive-thru lanes in rural areas.

In January 2022, Amazon announced its high-tech convenience store model, moving to the suburbs with a new format. The first store will open in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle, in the coming months. The model is distinct, according to Amazon, because it is closer to consumers' homes rather than near the urban centre and office buildings, where 24 stores are now located in various U.S. cities. Amazon's push to bring its services closer to people's homes and workplaces could react to how those lines have blurred so dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of work-from-home models. In late 2016, Amazon built an Amazon Go site in Seattle as a beta for its workers, and the store opened to the public in January 2018. It was known as Walk Out. It's essential to understand how Amazon Go works. Let's take a closer look at the method and technologies. Only the Amazon Go app is compatible with Amazon Go stores. Install it and log into customers' accounts, selecting their payment option along the way. Customers should be able to get their QR codes instantly. They may also use the app to view nearby retailers, special deals, and receipts and improve security by using a PIN and fingerprint unlocking method. Customers enter Amazon Go stores through a row of electronic gates, which they scan with their app's QR code before entering. When they do so, the system recognises their account, acknowledges that they're entering the store, and monitors their activity while they're there. Customers are responsible for everything they pick up, whether they are aware of it. Customers may exit businesses without standing in line or dealing with a standard checkout process thanks to a system that uses various sensors and cameras to track items they pick up.

Everything in Amazon Go stores is monitored from above and around the client. Customers' pick-ups and returns are monitored via cameras positioned in the ceiling. When goods are removed from shelves, weight sensors on the shelves keep track of it. These devices are part of an AI-powered system that tracks consumers' behaviour in the store and add the items they select to their virtual shopping cart. The store does not offer hot food or beverages. Dash Carts are also available at Amazon's cashierless food stores. They're currently relatively small, holding little more than two shopping bags. On the positive side, they're completely automated, making the Amazon purchasing experience even more efficient. To activate the cart, customers must first scan the QR code. Then add objects to it. The built-in scale and the sensors on its sides will add them to their bill. If users remove something from the cart, it will instantly be deleted. To keep track of the spending, customers will see the bill on the cart's monitor. There's also a PLU tool for various fruits and vegetables. Overall, the Dash Cart improves the accuracy and efficiency of the store's automated procedure.

Finally, customers can simply walk out, especially if they merely have shopping bags. Before exiting the store, if buyers are using a Dash Cart, they will need to unload in a specific lane. Customers don't stop to pay in any case. That is the beauty of the cashierless experience. Their Amazon account and the credit card link are automatically charged as they proceed through the checkout process. However, Amazon's system is prone to errors, such as failing to register that the user returned an item to its shelf. Before checking out, customers must double-check their receipt or compare the Dash Cart bill to its things.

Amazon Go is obliterating the concept of cashiers, and if the rest of retail follows suit (which is quite likely), many jobs will be lost. Amazon Go will add to the continuing debate about how automation, technology, and artificial intelligence are destroying jobs over time. Is it possible for Whole Foods to go cashierless? One can't help but wonder how much of Amazon Go's technology will make its way into Whole Foods. Keep in mind that Amazon employees are on hand to assist clients and prepare food. Whole Foods already has these higher-value tasks. What's not apparent is if the Amazon Go technology can be applied to Whole Foods on a large scale. As the Amazon Go beta continues, we'll find out.

Hamida Mosharraf Moniea is a lecturer at the School of Business and Economics, North South University, Bangladesh. [email protected];

Dr. Mohammad Khasro Miah is a Professor at the School of Business and Economics, and Director, Career and Placement Centrer, North South University, Bangladesh. [email protected]


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