After being one of the first pioneers of cashier-less technology, Amazon is making sure that it remains one of the most instrumental players in the sector. This week, the e-tailer announced it is now in the business of selling its cashier-less technology to other retailers. Specifically, Amazon told Reuters it had signed “several” deals with undisclosed customers, while also inviting others to inquire about the service on its new Just Walk Out website.
“Do customers like standing in lines?” Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s Vice President of Physical Retail and Technology, asked. “This has pretty broad applicability across store sizes, across industries, because it fundamentally tackles a problem of how do you get convenience in physical locations, especially when people are hard-pressed for time.”
According to Reuters, the highly anticipated business reflects Amazon’s strategy of building out internal capabilities—such as warehouses to help with package delivery and cloud technology to support its website—and then turning those into lucrative services it offers others. This technology was popularized in Amazon’s Amazon Go grocery convenience stores, where consumers would walk into the brick-and-mortar location, peruse, and pay for purchases via their Amazon account with no checkout lanes to wait through.
Unlike Amazon Go stores, however, shoppers in other retailers will insert a credit card into a gated turnstile to enter, rather than scan an app. The turnstiles will display the logo “Just Walk Out technology by Amazon,” but all other branding and store aspects will be controlled by the retailer using the service. Items picked up by a customer and any guests who enter with them will be added to the shopper’s virtual cart. The store will then bill the credit card once the person or group leaves the store—no bar code scans or checkout lines necessary.
Kumar said Amazon will install the technology including ceiling cameras and shelf weight sensors at retailers’ stores, whether they are new locations or retrofits, and it will have a 24-7 support line.
Which retailers will buy Amazon's technology? And how will this shift the innovation of cashier-less technology across grocery retail? Deli Market News will continue to keep its nose to the grindstone.