Amazon Scrapping Cashierless Technology from Some Stores


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Amazon has announced that it will remove its cashierless system from grocery stores and will not feature the technology in new stores.

The move provides lessons to other companies, particularly retailers, about consumer demands. While shoppers generally want speed and convenience, technology that replaces traditional elements of shopping and makes them feel alienated or even intimidated is not always desirable, particularly in physical store settings.

This “Just Walk Out “technology is aimed at helping its stores create a faster way to shop without the hassle of checking out. Featuring shelf sensors, ceiling-mounted cameras and algorithms, the system determines what a consumer has bought and then charges them automatically when they exit the store.

Amazon started to develop the technology over a decade ago, driven by the then chief executive Jeff Bezos, as the company aimed to move its presence into physical stores.

The cashierless system debuted in 2018 at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, with the opening of a convenience store inside the lobby. Dozens of Amazon Go-branded convenience stores were subsequently opened with the Just Walk Out technology, which was later installed in Fresh Stores and Whole Foods Market locations.

However, as reported by The Press-Enterprise, the technology alienated some consumers, who felt uncomfortable with the entry gates or with how Amazon had transformed traditional grocery stores into high-tech vending machines. The receipting aspect of the technology also proved unpopular, with shoppers receiving receipts digitally after they shop. The receipts could take several hours to arrive and were deemed impractical for larger shops.

Amazon Go stores will still feature the Just Walk Out systems, and the company will continue to license the technology to other retailers. Additionally, smaller stores in Britain will retain the system.

Image: Depositphotos


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