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New Grocery Store Concept Trialled by E-Commerce Giant Amazon

27 February 2020 - 13:36 by Graham Miller

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Amazon is expanding its reach in the bricks and mortar retail market by introducing a grocery store in the US where customers will be able to walk in, pick up products and leave without having to head through a checkout.

This blends the immediacy of high street retail with the convenience of safe shopping online, since purchases are tracked and transactions are completed through the user’s smartphone linked to their Amazon account, meaning that no human personnel or even automated checkout solutions are needed.

The Amazon Go Grocery store is the first of its kind, although it is not the first time that the company has taken this checkout-free approach to retail into the real world. Smaller stores have cropped up, with this latest location being the largest to date.

While an app is involved in keeping tabs on what users pick up, it is not necessary for them to scan everything they want as they add it to their basket; instead this is handled by machine learning, which can tell when items are removed or replaced on shelves.

There will still be flesh and blood members of staff on site, but they will instead be able to handle things like customer service and shelf stacking.

It is worth pointing out that Amazon is not the only company to have made moves towards eliminating checkouts from the bricks and mortar retail experience to appeal to customers who are used to safe shopping online. Supermarkets such as Tesco and the Co-op have adopted similar technologies, although the sophistication of the Amazon Go Grocery store is arguably unrivalled.

In its willingness to disrupt the bricks and mortar market, Amazon is spurring on innovation in its rivals, which is definitely a good thing for all consumers.