Brick & Mortar Meet Amazon Go

Dec 06, 2016

Brick & Mortar - Let Me Introduce to Amazon Go Inc. is opening Amazon Go in Seattle, a 1,800-square-foot store (AKA convenience store), which incorporates, artificial intelligence, IoT, and digital security solutions to eliminate the need to checkout. Consumers simply scan their phone at a kiosk when they enter the store, and then load up their shopping bags. Amazon is able to identify their purchases as the items are removed from the shelf, allowing the customer to just walk out with their merchandise without every physically checking out. The purchases are automatically charged to a credit card on file, and a receipt is sent to the customer’s mobile phone.

The company says “our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning.”

Exciting or scary? This announcement likely conjures both emotions. As we are all strapped for time, whether we are moms with an endless todo list or an avid video game player who wants to get home and beat their latest high score as soon as possible, the idea of quickly getting in and out of a grocery store is enticing. Many still fear the “big brother” phenomenon; but let’s be real – you are already being constantly watched (with video cameras, GPS everywhere) and your likes and dislikes live in “Big Data.”  

Amazon is seeking a bigger piece of the “food” pie – which is a product that will continue to be best served by brick and mortar establishments.  Amazon is a company that continuously seeks out new concepts, business models, as well as redefines old ways.  Since food is restocked daily or weekly, it’s repeat business can be crucial for profitability among retailers.

Amazon Go mimics convenience stores with ready-to-eat meals, snack options, and grocery staples such as bread and milk. Amazon is also tapping into the new fresh meal delivery service model by offering  chef-designed “Amazon Meal Kits,” which will provide the ingredients required to cook your meals within a half hour. Where jobs are eliminated (cashiers), perhaps jobs will be created (chefs).

The new store, located in downtown Seattle near its headquarters, is already open to its employees. It will open to the public early next year.

Alpa Shah


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