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How many shoppers does it take to break an Amazon Go store?

By Dan Wilson March 30, 2017 - 7:34 am

Amazon Go is an idea the retailer giant mooted late last year. Imagine a shop without cashiers and check outs and no need to pay right there. You just check in to the store with your Amazon app and fill your basket. Through the general wizardry of motion sensors and the like, the shop knows exactly what you put in your basket. And as you leave with your groceries, your spend is automatically totted up and charged to your Amazon account. It’s all about convenience and speed.

As they boast in the promo vid, you can even take something from the shelf and then put it back and not be charged.

This video explains the concept:

But all is not working out as planned at the Amazon Go trailblazer stores in Seattle, according to reports. The systems apparently can’t cope with more than 20 shoppers at a time and the result is the opening will be delayed for an unknown period.

It seems churlish to be overly hard on an experiment in nascent technology. There is always (rightly) going to be a period of testing and learning whenever you try something new. And there’s no shame in getting things wrong too. Previously Amazon said the new store (stores?) would be open by the end of March but now, inevitably, that roll out is going to be delayed as they iron out the wrinkles.

We’ll keep you posted.

  • 3 years ago

    I was reading about this the other day, apparently if someone helps you get an item off a high shelf that person gets charged for the item not you and the system doesn’t like it if an item is put back in the wrong place. All interesting stuff but as you say there are bound to be glitches at first.

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