Source: Amazon YouTube
After much talk and speculation about another brick-and-mortar location, Amazon has finally launched Amazon Go, the first ever checkout-free grocery store. Based in Seattle, Amazon Go is an 1,800 square feet space that is currently only open to Amazon's employees but is expected to open to the public in early 2017. The checkout-free aspect of Amazon Go is a novel idea for shoppers everywhere, as it eliminates standing in lines, interacting with cashiers, using tangible forms of payment, and more.
To purchase your groceries, you simply download the Amazon Go app, log into your Amazon account, and as you browse the store, pick up the groceries you need, toss them into your bag, and leave the store with your new goods. When you leave the store, your account will be charged for your groceries and you'll receive a receipt as well. No lines, no checkout.
According to Amazon Go's FAQ page, shoppers are able to utilize these new technologies thanks to "computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning," the same types of technologies used to power self-driving cars. These advances are able to detect when items are taken off or returned to shelves, when they need to be restocked, and what is in your virtual shopping cart.
In regards to the grocery selection, Amazon states that you can find ready-to-eat snack and meal options along with your basic grocery essentials such as milk and bread. They're also offering their own version of ready-to-cook meals, Amazon Meal Kits, which contain enough ingredients to cook a meal for two in about 30 minutes.
Amazon Go is located at 2131 7th Ave., Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.
Amazon has plans to open up small brick and mortar locations for their grocery venture Amazon Fresh. According to Business Insider, the project is known internally as Project Como or Project X.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) also reported on the site of the first small scale Amazon grocery store being built and notes that items carried will be limited to fresh produce, dairy, and meats (no named sources so far). According to WSJ, the store access will be exclusive to Amazon Fresh subscribers. While the Amazon grocery store plans to limit their shelves to fresh produce, there will be touch screen kiosks set up around the store for those who want to order other pantry staples from breakfast cereals to snacks.
WSJ also goes on to say that Amazon has plans to open drive-in grocery store locations where Amazon Fresh subscribers can order online and Amazon grocery workers will deliver the order to the customer's cars using a new technology that can detect customer's individual license plates.
Geekwire posted some photos of the first Amazon grocery under construction in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Take a look below:
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
Amazon Fresh has also recently cut delivery fees for members in select cities (where Amazon Fresh eligible). Amazon Fresh originally cost $299 per year but is now available for a monthly subscription of $14.99 per month (for Prime members in select cities). As always, the Amazon Fresh membership fee is an add-on in addition to your existing Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Fresh add-on membership is for Prime members only. You can always sign on for a free 30-day trial of Prime Fresh here.