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Amazon Go : cashless stores are taking over in New York!

Bertrand Leseigneur
4 minutes
This year, Amazon opened eight Amazon Go stores in New York in seven months in the United States. Forerunners of what tomorrow’s food stores could become, simple, fast and efficient stores, they are paradoxically the first to accept cash payments. Moreover, our two experts, Guillaume Rio and Nicolas Diacono, visited this concept store during their learning expedition.

The concept

On May 7, 2019, Amazon opened its first Amazon Go in New York City at Brookfield Place Shopping Center in downtown New York City. On June 11, the retail giant opened its second New York store. Both locations are located in high-traffic business areas.

Amazon Go stores are known for their “Just Walk Out” technology. Customers use the Amazon Go mobile application that must be installed on their first visit to sign in and log into their Amazon account. A QR code to be scanned then allows them to access the store via a turnstile.

Aerial cameras, weight sensors and Artificial Intelligence detect goods that customers pick up or put down on the shelves and keep track of the selected items in a virtual shopping cart. When customers are ready to leave the store, the “Just Walk Out” technology debits their Amazon account for the items they take out and sends a receipt to the application.

Here, customers can also pay in cash. To do so, they have to ask an employee to scan the products in the store and then, once the purchases are completed, pay in cash and get a receipt, which may come as a surprise!

Although these stores are generally automated, it is interesting to note that they are closed on weekends, probably to avoid the high costs of operating these locations at times of low activity in these business districts.

Why visit the store ?

Choose your meal

Like other Amazon Go stores, Manhattan stores offer a selection of beverages, breakfast, lunch, dinner and ready-to-eat snacks prepared by Amazon’s kitchen staff as well as local bakeries.

Although the preparation areas are not visible to customers, the store communicates online about on-site preparation. To keep things simple, “Amazon” meal kits that contain all the ingredients needed to prepare a meal for two in about 30 minutes are also sold.

Buy hands free

You can’t beat a purchase at Amazon Go. The concept is very simple. You enter by scanning the Amazon Go application QR code on your smartphone to identify yourself.

During your visit to the store, numerous sensors and cameras analyse your movements and the products that you put in your basket… or that you rest on the shelf.

At the end of your purchases you pass through the security gates and your products are debited from your Amazon account.

Look at your attendance time

The main advantage of this store is that the waiting time and thus the time spent in the store is considerably reduced. Amazon Go stores are therefore always simple and easy to access even at peak times.

The proof, the invoice you receive on your smartphone clearly shows you the time spent in the store. Here, in 2 minutes and 23 seconds, you’ve bought orange juice and wraps !

Ask for help

It is very often thought that Amazon Go stores do not have a salesperson, but on the contrary, for a store of this size, there are many employees on site.

Some are there to restock the shelves and others are there to explain to novice customers how the store works, how to access Wifi and… how to install the Amazon Go application. This is a need to create trust and to embody a “physical” link with the consumer.

No need to carry your phone or wallet while you’re shopping. The customer therefore has his hands free for shopping and can request informations from the store employees.

Bertrand Leseigneur
Based in New York, Bertrand is the Innovation Retail correspondent of the Echangeur in the USA, he decodes the latest American concept stores !!
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