Amazon’s Grocery Store Of The Future Has Just Opened To The Public; Will It Forever Change Retail?

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Amazon Go opened their first store to the public in Seattle less than an hour ago. It has been in beta and only open for Amazon employees only until now. You scan your phone as you walk in to login with your Amazon account, take whatever you want off the shelves, and just walk out. You’ll get a receipt as soon as you leave the store. You won’t have to interact with a single employee wait in a single line, or scan any of your purchased items.

Cameras in the store follow you around, though they don’t use facial recognition to do so. There are also sensors on the shelf that allow Amazon to know exactly how many items you take.

It sure seems like this is the future of retail. All else being equal, I’ll choose to shop somewhere if I know I won’t have to wait in a line.

Of course this is bad news for checkout clerks, but in the 21st century the name of the game will be staying ahead of the technology curve before your job becomes obsolete. Nobody cries today for milkman, lamplighter, elevator operator, switchboard operator, film processor, or the flight engineer. Jobs like checkout clerks and truck or taxi drivers won’t survive this century.

Here’s how the process works:

 

Will Amazon bring this technology to their newly purchased Whole Foods stores in order to lower costs and add convenience? Will they roll out more Amazon Go stores across the country? How will other stores respond to this? Sound off in the comments.

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86 Comments On "Amazon’s Grocery Store Of The Future Has Just Opened To The Public; Will It Forever Change Retail?"

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runnergirl

wow!

Chaim

What about costumer service?

sholey klein

Its truly amazing!

Gaby

This video has circulated awhile ago

Abraham

How do they know who’s taking what? does it have to do with who’s phone you have? so if i’m standing next to someone, will he be charged for my grocery order?

ray

what if you put something back in the wrong area-like most people do?

Yosef

Kinda confused about how this works? How do they know what each person took? What if u pick something and then put it back later

Abka

The real question is, how fast this technology will spread and disrupt retail all over (not just Amazon).

J

With the purchase of Whole Foods and Amazon Go stores, Amazon shook retail industry to it’s core. Since 2002, convenience and grocery stores have had robotic kiosks while fast food chains just got to using automated ordering to save on human labor costs. Due to govt minimum wage laws and health care mandate, labor compliance regulations and advancement in computer technology, many of the entry level jobs relied on high school to college aged and unskilled workers for many years are going the way of the buggy whip makers.

Liam K. Nuj

What about when my kids start grabbing things from all over the place and throw it in the basket? In someone else’s basket? On the floor? Put the ice cream on the bread shelf?
Betcha Amazon didn’t test MY kids!

Dima

Then you should either get your kids under control or pay for what they grab. Why would it be anything different?

dfromny

Well said! I can’t stand when people destroy a perfectly stocked store. If you pick it up and put it somewhere else you should pay for it. People work hard making these shelves look the way they do. The WORST: when someone puts perishables in the dry sections, I wanna sleep them lol.

Eitan

This is scary, it is exactly how the capitalist system destroys our economy

Dima

If you mean improve it by destroying the inefficiencies, then yes, horrible!

farmbochur

I’m all for it! Especially if they start selling money orders without human interaction

aswami

LOL! Not only money orders, but all the other transactions when pesky, zealous point of sale clerks come in our way. But I am afraid that when things are fully automated, the limits will be enforced by the system, which would make it hard to by-pass by trying with a different clerk! 🙂

Yitzy

I have a feeling people are going to spend a lot more money there with this technology… the whole concept aside from convenience makes it seem like everything’s free, because there’s no active checkout/payment – “just walk out” and I think from that viewpoint they will do very well! Also often when waiting in line people decide to put things back…none of that!

joe

that’s THE GOAL…

Not any time in the near future.

Having to not checkout, yeah sure that saves time. As for this Amazon voodoo, I don’t think it will be mainstream any time soon in a real supermarket. This video looks more like a local CVS/Duane Reade/Walgreens (pick one or substitute your own) than a supermarket.

You already see fewer checkout clerks at supermarkets and even places like home depot. If this causes the end of the checkout clerk, you’ll just need that many more people working customer support when shoppers call up complaining they never actually left the store with item A,B or C. At Stop and Shop there has been for years a payment line for those who prefer to checkout while shopping. Just pay and leave. Not having to stop and pay is not such a big jump from there. I have no clue what happens if you purchase produce by weight, but likely that’s one of things Amazon hasn’t worked out yet either, which is why you don’t see it in the video. Otherwise at many stores you are already expected to checkout and bag your items yourself. If you need help you have one person manning 8 checkout lanes. It could get extremely frustrating. As for lowering costs, doubtful, your average customer service call will take longer than a ‘normal’ checkout would.

We’ve got another 82 or so years before the end of the century….I won’t hold my breath.

turkey1234

Agreed. Produce is cheaper when you grab it from a bin than from a plastic pre-weighted container. Seems hard for fresh foods. Personally, the less pre-packed food I eat, the better.

Qsman

I am flying to Seattle tomorrow and will post my experience!!!!

Joey

Hey, how was your shopping experience?

Jim

No bonus here?

Eliteflyer

Will be interesting to see how grocery chains that are Employee owned (like Publix) react.

Abs

Check-out clerks and taxi drivers, granted.
But truck drivers? Doubtful. How do you propose they’ll be moving stuff around the country? Or are you just referring to local delivery?

Joe

The biggest hurdle to self driving vehicles is sharing the roads with human drivers. It would be much easier for developers of the technology to roll out fully autonomous if humans were taken out from behind the wheel. Given time, self driving technology will advance to the point where we trust it and then start getting humans out of the driver seat, which will make everything easier and more efficient.
Autonomous truck driving is not a significant hurdle, and as Dan alluded, it already exists.

CUBS FAN

And is there someone to interact with when you are erroneously billed 10x what you took or is that another gift of modern technology?

Jake

I was in the store last week( watched from the outside). You only need the phone on the way in, not on the way out. So if your battery dies, no worries.

Abka

What happens if you walk in, go to a restroom and change your look, turn off your phone and walk back into the store. Do the cameras recognize you as the same person? It is probably one of the the following:

A) The cameras follow you in the restroom. Yikes

B) The are NO Restrooms. Hrmph.

Dima

Restrooms separately outside. You scan in with your phone. Then they charge you for extra toilet paper used 😉

AK770

lol

Shaul

A more common technology that I’ve seen rolled out is where you get a hand-held scanner when you walk into the store, and scan items as you put them into your cart. When you walk out, all you need to do is scan the device at a kiosk and pay. It’s not as robust a technology, but I have to imagine it costs only a fraction to rollout.

Jim

Advances in technology usually do not get rid of whole jobs all at once. Perhaps toll taker is closest to that. But they do replace tasks. Yes, many jobs will disappear, but it will be incremental. So in this case, there will still be a need for staff at the store, but the actual checkout functions will be greatly reduced. And for those who think long haul trucking will take a long time to disappear, think again. It is being targeted heavily as we speak. Like anything else displaced by technology, the cost of humans (including limitations on how much they can work) is undercut by technology that improves rapidly while costs fall. Robo investment advisor anyone? It’s already well established.

Me

since 2000 there are smart cameras in the old city Jerusalem that identifies a wanted person by eye bone structure or such… Even if a terrorist would wear a burka it would identify him. This technology is over 18 years old

ac

My daughter worked at Amazon this past summer and was one of the beta testers at Amazon Go. It worked well. the store has a limited number of items. It is not a full service supermarket. But it was quick and efficient.

dave

This technology is way far ahead of its time. There will need to be proven facts that you are generating more income/profits etc to justify the expense. and cost of the technology? Amazon will have to prove its a viable option first. Whole Foods is probably its bet of prof of concept.

Ergel

The expense of tech nowadays is developing it. Once developed, it scales very quickly

AsherO

As these customer-facing jobs are replaced by machines, humans will be interacting more with machines and less with other humans. Hopefully society will develop other (better?) ways for humans to interact organically, without any technological intermediaries.

davidmal

like speaking to alexa to order your groceries at home…..

debbie

I wonder if they can accommodate wic and food stamp customers.
and what does a return transaction look like?

Uri

I don’t see how coupons can be used

AK770

Can’t you imagine a store where you can view the item on your phone and clip a coupon there just like you do on Amazon now?

Person

Are there a limited number of cameras?
What happens if the store gets very very crowded?
Will they limit the amount of people in the store at one time?

mo

would work in a world of grab n go items.

David

About to check it out. Curious what’s kosher

David

Lots of kosher snacks. Not much fresh fruits and veggies, but plenty packaged. No kosher wine. Excellent experience. Was lucky enough to park in front and only waited about 2 minutes to get in. Receipt was accurate. Just swipe left on an item in the app receipt if you didn’t get it.

aharon landau

What happens if you put a lowered price item back on shelf where you picked up a higher priced item? Same size differant brand?

Eli

I wont mind waiting online if the price is cheaper and am sure that plenty of others as well. What will happen, brick and mortar stores will lower prices and offer other perks so it will notbe a given that Amazon will over power them

Qsman

Just shopped!!! Trip report in the works, stand by all!!!!!

Stewart Latto

They should open a store in Edmonton

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