Amazon Go – what is all the fuss about
So on my recent trip to Seattle I wanted to check out the new Amazon Go experience to see what everyone was talking about.
What is Amazon Go
Simply, it’s a store that doesn’t have any checkouts – you add items into your bag and walk out and then you get charged.
What do I need
- You need to download Amazon Go App to your phone
- Amazon Prime account, don’t worry I could use my UK Prime Account and it still worked, but you do need prime.
- That’s it
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Prime Account you can sign up here.
Where is the Amazon Go store located?
The location of the store is pretty important, at the moment there is only one Amazon Go store in the World and its in Amazon Headquarters town of Seattle. In fact, it’s in their heartland, right under their new shiny office blocks and next to their Amazon Spheres in the heart of Seattle.
It’s at: 2131 7th Avenue
The store is open 7am to 9pm.
How does Amazon Go work?
According to the guys themselves
“Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Our Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. A little later, we’ll send you a receipt and charge your Amazon account.”
So what was it like. Ironically we went to a store which claims to have no queues at the checkout, instead, we have to wait in line outside the store to get in.
So all they have done is move the queue from the checkouts to outside the shop – luckily it wasn’t raining and quite warm.
Getting inside is pretty easy – you scan the app on the barcode scanner and the gates open (a bit like how you get into most office blocks these days).
Once inside its pretty much like any other store, its pretty small and at the moment they have free bags for you to take – they do say in the future they plan on charging you for the bags as well.
Anyway – its very much a convenience store with its selection of products. I grabbed a bottle of Coca-Cola and a bottle of water for in my hotel room.
I put these in the bag and simply walked out.
About 20 minutes later I get a push notification on my phone from Amazon to say here is my receipt and what they had charged me for.
It was all correct.
A friend of mine who I was with got the receipt about 2 hours later so not sure on the actual time frame but his was also correct.
Its weird walking out of a store without paying.
This is definitely a concept store and there aren’t that many products in the store, I guess it in case something breaks and everything isn’t charged, Amazon wouldn’t be massively out of pocket. Even so, there are a few rules and these might change so worth checking before entering the store.
- You can take a friend in with you, anything they buy will be billed to your Amazon account
- If you go in with a friend, DON’T pick up items for them – only pick up items you want.
- You are ok to pick up and item and return it to the shelf – you won’t be charged for these
These are about it.
Great concept store, its a glimpse into the future, obviously here in the UK I am used to self-scanning as I shop in supermarkets but this takes it to a whole new level.
If I am honest I don’t think this will roll out to large Supermarkets but I can see it being some variation of this technology, its coming and it probably won’t be just food retailers using this technology.
It reduces so many friction points that makes shopping a hassle. I for one am looking forward to seeing what changes this leads too in the coming months and years.