Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Amazon has optimized the purchasing procedure over the years, easing it with things like one-click shopping and same day deliver; and it's now doing the same for physical stores with its Amazon Go.
Some stores have been playing with the concept of automatic checkout, but this usually translates to some sort of self-service, where the customer has to scan the products during checkout, as well as pay for it all using a traditional debit/credit card. With Amazon Go, everything changes, as you need only scan your code as you enter the store, and from then on just pick up what you want and walkout when you're done - no checkout, no payment, no worries..
Of course you won't be getting it for free. The trick is that Amazon is using a very complex system using cameras, sensors, and all sorts of technical wizardry to figure out what you took, and automatically charge via your Amazon account you when you leave. And the system is even smart enough to know when you pick something up just to have a look at it, but then put it back on the shelf.
Sure, there are lots of things that can potentially go wrong, as people are very unpredictable, and it wouldn't be uncommon for people to change their minds and ditch products on the wrong shelves, not to mention cases where they might try to game the system and trick it into thinking they picked up cheaper things when they've picked up more expensive products. But that's probably why, for now, this concept store will only be open to Amazon employees.
But you can bet all quirks will soon be ironed out, and this is the face of stores to come.