Being a non-engineer, when Amazon announced Amazon Go on 5th December 2016, it was nothing but magic to me. I know Amazon as, the online E-commerce company which does fast delivery of goods which we desire and order online. Amazon also tried making phones and was a thought leader with the concept of drone delivery. The company didn’t succeed as much in those areas. However, Amazon Go is different.
So, what exactly is Amazon Go?
If I have to explain it to you in simple words, then Amazon Go is a physical retail store. A store you can walk in and shop for groceries and other items just like how you do in Walmart. Well, the only difference is you do not have to stand in long lines to checkout of the store at the cash counter.
No, the product you picked isn’t complimentary because you visited the store! Amazon Go is a smart retail store where you walk in, pick the product you want and simply walk out. When you walk out, your purchase is considered complete.
So what’s the magic behind Amazon Go?
The smart engineering and the technology on your smartphone help Amazon give you best retail experience. While entering the store you scan the barcode on your smartphone via barcode sensor. This barcode tracks all your activity inside the store and also your purchasing pattern, behavior, time spent on each aisle etc. creating a database for Amazon. This is the store with no credit/debit cards or any cash registers and works just with the AI. You’re billed on the application on your smartphone. Amazon has developed this artificial intelligence which tracks you and your purchase through multiple cameras with image sensors along with a fusion of machine learning. Amazon says it is the same technology the self-driven cars are using with life-saving aspects and it is a very powerful technology.
Will it be the end of Shoplifting?
This technology in the retail stores can be the end of shoplifting problems. How? Well, the image sensor cameras and the AI with advanced machine learning technology, Amazon can track all the products missing from shelves, in your hands, in your shopping bag or under your shirt or in your pockets. Amazon Go stores will be pioneers to end shoplifting problems with the fusion of advanced technology and tracking.
Members only Policy
Amazon Go will be available only to its Amazon Prime members and no cash or credit/debit cards will be used to make purchases. As all the purchase will be billed on the application on the smartphone. With Amazon Go, Amazon is trying to bring and implement AI and machine learning to offline shopping experience as they have already achieved it in online shopping. Since there is no cash or cards involved, this could be the beginning of the end of POS systems.
What to Expect?
The more you shop from Amazon.com the more Amazon learns from you, in addition to customizing your online shopping, the company makes whole journey easy and less time-consuming experience. Similarly, with Amazon Go, the company tracks and stores all your data and customize your shopping experience offline too. Amazon will be able to detect your exact behavior towards a certain product or your in-store shopping pattern. Your previous data will help Amazon to create customized discounts and real-time offers for you. For some of you, it may be a little uncomfortable initially as Amazon will be using multiple cameras and stalking your every move. But eventually, it will be adopted by everyone.
Don’t be surprised if Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa reminds you to get milk, bread, sugar, or even suggests you what you should be shopping for the whole week based on your previous shopping patterns. With every purchase you make in Amazon Go, the data will be collected by Amazon and further used to customize your shopping needs. Although I see this as a major technological breakthrough in the retail industry, this could be the beginning of the end of a lot of other technology such as POS.
Let me know what you think about this breakthrough technology from Amazon. Would you shop from Amazon Go? Or do you have concerns with this technology as it involves being watched throughout your shopping saga? Tweet your concerns to me @Ferroljeromy and let us discuss.