While generally I’d write and article about how “Amazon Go” is delayed with an understanding with our readers that they’d read previous articles, today we’re in a unique position. Today with news that there’s are “technical complications” in the store, according to WSJ, I’m going to discuss the implications of this delay. This delay is happening for a store which will eventually allow people to enter, pick up items as needed, and walk out without seeing or interacting with a cashier.
Amazon wants to invent something that already exists, creating a store where the least pleasant part about shopping with introverts is removed. Stores like Walmart and Target – and basically every chain grocery store – now have self-checkout consoles already. I can walk in to a store, find what I want, buy it, and leave without ever interacting directly with another person, if I want.
The image directly above this paragraph is not from the “Amazon Go” store – it’s from Sam’s Club. A bulk sales store owned by the same folks as own Walmart, Sam’s Club has an app with which users can scan items with the camera on their phone, add them to a list on their phone, buy them, and show the resulting receipt to the door worker on the way out to verify. The verification process is the same as it is with a more traditional purchase at Sam’s Club – there’s always a receipt check due to the massive nature of the shopping carts and big room for accidental hiding of items.
Sam’s Club’s mobile checkout does not alleviate the point-of-contact that needs to be made at the door of their store. But if this same process were available at their closest relative store, Walmart, it’d essentially be Amazon Go. The big difference with Amazon Go is, supposedly, the lack of a door guard – and possibly the lack of need to scan items in the first place.
That’s what we’re waiting for – so very much convenience that we’ll walk into a store, pick up a banana, walk out and start to eat. A seamless experience, part of a world in the future where we might not need to interact with money at all if we don’t want to. Provided, of course, we make more than enough to provide for everything we might ever need – but that’s a long way off, and not necessarily part of Amazon’s grand plan.
Have a peek at the timeline below to learn more about Amazon Go and the checkout-less stores of the future. We’ll be here – and we’ll keep on letting you know how it’s all progressing as it happens.