Amazon's new cashierless grocery store is finally open, and this is what's inside.
The first Amazon Go store has finally opened in Seattle. Could it be the future of grocery shopping? With new cashierless technology, app-based billing, and more, the New York Times reports today, it's certainly different from what shoppers are used to. Here's everything you need to know about what Amazon Go has in store for you:
The Amazon Go store's entrance features a row of electronic gates, similar to a subway station. To enter, you need a smartphone with the store's app, which you scan at the gate to enter. And when you leave the Amazon store, you're billed not by a cashier, but by the app, a few minutes after you've already exited.
It's a convenience store, plus Whole Foods
The 1,800 square foot Amazon Go Seattle store features both classic convenience store items like chips, soda, condiments, and beer, and Whole Foods staples like salads, prepared meals, sandwiches, and baked goods like muffins and cookies. And yes, you can get Amazon's own meal kits too.
No cashiers, registers, or shopping carts
That's right: the Amazon grocery store has no cashiers, no registers, and no actual checkout process. Instead, you simply put whatever you're going to buy into your bag, and leave the store when you're done. To facilitate the Amazon Go cashierless store experience, each product you put in your bag will also be placed on your online Amazon shopping cart, and removed when you take it out.
There are still staff
Even without cashiers, the Amazon Go store still uses employees to restock shelves, help customers deal with technical problems, assist in finding items, and check ID's in the store's beer and wine section. They also cook prepared meals in the kitchen next store.
You can't steal
As the Times found when they tried it, shoplifting seems just about impossible here, because Amazon is watching with arrays of hundreds of small cameras above store shelves. The cameras are able to analyze what items you're putting in and taking out of the bag, which should make things convenient, provided you're okay with hundreds of cameras analyzing your every move through the store.
The future of Amazon's store of the future is unclear
Amazon won't say whether it plans to make more Amazon Go locations, or license its technology to other stores, so this could potentially be a one-off. The company does say it has no plans to use the system at Whole Foods though, so don't get you’re your hopes up on that front.