Shoppers who dread waiting in a grocery store checkout line will have to wait a bit longer for Amazon's cashier-less store concept to open its doors. It is now restricted to the company's AmazonFresh Pickup locations in the SODO and Ballard neighborhoods in Seattle.
Still, whichever way you cut it, the intention is clear: Amazon thinks that physical stores could help it make more money.
The AmazonFresh Pickup stores are different from Amazon's other recent brick-and-mortar concept store, the Amazon Go convenience store. Now being tested in Seattle, these AmazonFresh locations will let Prime members order groceries via app and have them available in as little as 15 minutes for pickup. Amazon's fifth bookstore opened last week, and the company has also reportedly explored stores for groceries, furniture, electronics, and home appliances. The company is also planning retail stores that "would serve as showcases where people could view the items in person, with orders being delivered to their homes". Using a combination of sensors, cameras, and machine learning, the store should be able to monitor your entrance, what items you pick up and place in your bag, and what items you end up leaving the store with.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the technology required for Amazon Go stores to charge customers as they leave, completely breaks down if more than 20 shoppers are in-store at once, or if shoppers move too quickly.
Amazon is looking to further simplify the process of grocery shopping for its customers, specifically the Prime ones, with the debut of its latest effort called AmazonFresh Pickup.
Groceries are the biggest untapped opportunity in e-commerce and it makes sense for Amazon to find ways to disrupt it, said Cooper Smith, an Amazon analyst with business intelligence company L2. Amazon's internal code name for its India grocery plans has been revealed as Project Everest.