On January 22, 2018, Amazon opened its checkout-free grocery store to the public. Located in Seattle, the store allows customers to take products they want and simply walkout of the store thanks to software that automatically detects when customers take products off shelves or put them back, keeping track of them in a virtual cart. The company has been developing the concept for five years and tested out its kinks with employees.
Customers have download a free Amazon Go App and link it to a payment method to enter the store. Then, they can browse through the store and shop for items they need. When customers walk out of the store, they receive a receipt and their Amazon accounts are automatically charged. Discrete cameras on the ceiling and shelf sensors in the store track customer purchases.
“The store knows you’re leaving and it tallies up your items and charges your account,” said Gianna Puerini, vice president for Amazon Go. “The last year has been about working the kinks out of the system as Amazon staffers shop. Now that it will be open to the general public, the goal is to learn more about how to make it work for everyone,” Puerini said. “We want it to be effortless and magical,” she added.
Offerings at AmazonGo include ready-to-eat meal and snack options made in-house by chefs and local kitchens and bakeries. The store also stocks grocery items such as bread, cheese, milk, chocolate, meal kits, toilet paper, beer and wine selections with an Amazon employee checking ID.
The company has no plans to open any more Amazon Go stores or export the technology for now.