Using the Amazon Go app on a smartphone, customers can walk in and walk out with their swag of convenience items without interacting with a checkout. The store uses hundreds of cameras integrated with a proprietary Amazon technology creatively named ‘Just Walk Out’. The test store has been under testing on Amazon employees only for almost a year, and this week the doors open to the public.
The Amazon Go store already has tech analysts frothing, with suggestions that this is the launch of serious retail disruption (as if Amazon hasn’t disrupted enough).
“This is the definition of disruption,” Brendan Witcher, principal analyst with Forrester Research, told USA Today. “This is Netflix replacing Blockbuster, this is Uber replacing taxis.”
Amazon has been working on the Amazon Go technology for the past five years, and likely to use this new competitive advantage to rapidly deploy Amazon Go stores across the US in its inexorable march on the physical retail domain. After acquiring the Wholefoods Supermarket chain last year, Amazon Go is no doubt set to inflict more angst on retail boardrooms across the US.
The notion of a checkout-free store is a no-brainer, and with Amazon’s access to cheap capital (shareholders keep throwing money at the company to live out its dreams), this will soon represent the new shopping reality.