Online retailer Amazon has opened the doors to a brick-and-mortar grocery store in Seattle that uses a combination of computer vision and deep learning to operate without lines or checkout counters.
Amazon Go, a 1,800-squarefoot store, uses sensors to detect what items shoppers have picked off the shelves in real-time, and when they leave the store, automatically bills their Amazon accounts.
Currently, the store is only accessible to Amazon employees, and requires a dedicated app to operate, but if the store proves successful, Amazon plans to open more than 2,000 grocery stores in a variety of formats, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon Go represents the latest push by the company into the grocery market. Over the past few years, Amazon has begun to position itself for a major push into this sector, and the establishment of a large number of physical stores would certainly qualify as that. Following the announcement, the S&P 15000 food retail index, which includes Kroger Co, Whole Foods and other grocery firms, was down 0.5 per cent, while shares of Amazon closed up around 2.6 per cent.
"The imminent launch of Amazon Go signifies a move away from traditional bricks and mortar stores and towards a new era of shopping," said Hugh Fletcher, digitial business consultant for eCommerce specialists Salmon. "Even if a shopping experience is in-person, not online, shoppers are constantly telling us that they want the same speed, convenience and user-friendly experience that online and mobile shopping provides."
"As retailers move away from traditional stores, we expect technologies like Programmatic Commerce – the concept of automatic purchasing through connected devices – to dominate the sector.
"Our recent study found that 57% of UK shoppers will be ready for fully automated purchases through IoT devices within two years. Amazon has been smart here – the brand was born digitally but knows that the future of retail is a perfect mix of online and physical. Amazon Go is just a trial but we would expect it to catch on."
You can watch Amazon's introduction to the store, which explains how it works, in the video below.
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