Datics AI - Amazon’s Cashierless Technology

Amazon’s Cashierless Technology

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6 min read

Amazon is a multinational technology company that has been cited as one of the most influential cultural and economic entities in the world. It comprises e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Amazon now allows its customers to shop in its store without interacting with cashiers of any kind. Amazon introduced this revamped store in Washington, DC’s Glover Park neighborhood, at Whole Foods Store, which has been there for over 20 years.

Even though Amazon has operated grocery stores without cashiers, as part of their Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh-branded stores, it is now, for the first time, introducing this technology to a Whole Foods Store. Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion back in 2017, but the brand’s integration with Amazon has so far only consisted of discounts and free delivery options for Prime subscribers.

At 21,500 square feet, this Whole Foods outlet is not the largest store to employ Amazon’s cashier-less technology; there is a 25,000 square foot Amazon Fresh store located in Bellevue, Washington. It does, however, represent Amazon’s confidence to bring in technology into a store that does not have Amazon its name. Amazon declined to comment on whether it has planned to add and integrate this technology to all of its Whole Foods stores.

The Whole Foods outlet features Amazon’s very own palm-recognition technology for QR codes and entry. The store is not entirely without employees; employees are seen staffing various counters who also explain how the cashier-less technology works. The Whole Foods store leans towards self-service, like offering a bread-slicer for customers to slice their own loaves. Customers have the option of opting for self-service checkouts if they do not plan on using Just Walk Out. 

According to a NYT report, cashier-less technology has proved to be divisive for customers who were shopping at the Whole Foods store prior to its upscaling and renovation. For example, one customer preferred the technology employed in 1984, while others were seen giving the newer implemented technology the benefit of the doubt.

Amazon is introducing its cashier-less technology to two Whole Food Stores, one in Washington, DC and the other in Los Angeles, which is planned for later this year.

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