Maybe you’ve heard of the Amazon Go. If you don’t know what this is, then it’s good to know that, in a nutshell, they are semi-automated Amazon supermarkets, in the sense that you don’t have to take a cart, put the products in, go to the checkout and pay. In Amazon Gop, users simply enter the store, scan a code, take what they need and leave “without paying”, as the charge is automatically made to each customer’s Amazon account.
It is worth mentioning that these stores are equipped with the most advanced facial and body recognition technology so that no shopper can claim that he or she has not been there and taken something off the shelves and left without paying. However, and despite all this futuristic technology, it is a very risky bet that perhaps in some countries, at least for a long time, cannot be implemented.
At first, Amazon Go was designed to sell only prepared food, snacks and drinks, a concept that evolved into Go Grocery, a supermarket with 5,000 products and about a thousand square meters of surface. Now Amazon goes one step further with Just Walk Out, a program through which other establishments can access Amazon Go technology to automate their stores.
Amazon Go for everyone
Let’s be clear that we’re not talking about a franchise. It is not that an entrepreneur can set up his own Amazon Go, but that a company can reach an agreement with Amazon to set up an automated store. Amazon provides the technology, cameras, infrastructure, software, etc., but it is the store that manages it with its own name, customer service and employees. Because even though there will be fewer employees, there must still be people in the stores who are responsible for informing people, verifying age, solving doubts and stocking the shelves.
Unlike the Amazon Go, users accessing these stores will not need an Amazon account to purchase. What they will have to do is enter their credit card information into a machine, take the products they want and leave.
Amazon offers the technology to get everything up and running, as well as phone and email support, and the stores can operate with their own selection of products. Obviously, the customer service needs of shoppers, including returns, will have to be managed by the store owner directly.
Amazon says that installing all the necessary technology can take “a few weeks from the time we have access to the store”. The program is valid for both new stores, that is, stores that are going to be built from scratch, or for stores already in operation, in which case they will try to “minimize the impact on current operations.
As for Just Walk Out’s data collection, Amazon states that “we only collect the necessary data to provide shoppers with an accurate receipt”. Customers can request a receipt for their purchase by entering their details on a machine when they leave the store and Amazon will then mail the receipt to them.
“We only collect the necessary data to provide shoppers with an accurate receipt”
In any case, there is no mention on the website of who exactly handles customer data and how they do it. Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s Vice President of Physical Stores and Technology, explains that “Amazon stores the email address and links it to the credit card information, for the sole purpose of charging the customer for the products they have purchased”.
At this time, it has not been disclosed in which territories this program will be available, but seeing that the Amazon Go is only available in the United States, it is expected that the entire deployment will begin there. The price to be paid for using Amazon’s technology has not been disclosed either, but those companies interested can already contact Amazon from the Just Walk Out program’s website.
So you know, every day there will be fewer sources of employment thanks to the technology, and this is just the beginning.