Online giant has signed several deals for its cashier-less Just Walk Out solution
The technology behind Amazon’s automated cashier-less Amazon Go stores reportedly will now be sold to other retail outlets.
The Lowdown: Amazon officials told Reuters this week that the massive online retailer has signed several deals with companies – though they wouldn’t say which ones – and that a new website will give others a way to learn about Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.
The Details: In Amazon Go chain stores, the technology uses a combination of cameras, weight sensors, tracking devices, machine learning algorithms, and computer vision solutions to enable customers armed with the Amazon Go app to take the products they want and then leave the store without cashing out. Amazon then charges the customer’s Amazon account.
The technology used by third-party stores will work a little differently. Shoppers will enter by inserting a credit card into a turnstile. The store will then bill the user’s credit card.
Other companies are looking to challenge Amazon in this space. Startup Trigo last fall announced it had raised $22 million in a funding round to build out its own checkout-free computer-vision systems for retailers and is partnering with several grocery chains in the United States, Europe, and Israel.
The Impact: For shoppers, not having to wait in line to check out with their items will make the experience go by more quickly and demand is expected to grow. Reuters noted a report by Loup Ventures that said the market for retail without cashiers could grow to the $50 billion. Channel partners also will get opportunities to help businesses deploy and manage these environments.
However, cashiers will be a casualty of the automation technology. Amazon notes that stores will still need people for such jobs as inventory and stocking shelves, but news outlet Vox said there are about 3.5 million cashiers in the United States now.
Background: The retail space is an example of Amazon taking its technology and becoming a competitor to businesses that other public cloud providers are courting as customers. Amazon – which has a broad array of retail customers – not only has its highly automated Amazon Go stores, but also bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017. Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud are among Amazon’s public cloud provider rivals that are working with major retail outlets like Kroger, Walgreens, and Kohl’s to help them modernize their operations.
The Buzz: “Do customers like standing in lines?” Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, told Reuters. “This has pretty broad applicability across store sizes, across industries, because it fundamentally tackles a problem of how do you get convenience in physical locations, especially when people are hard-pressed for time.”