Amazon has rolled out smart shopping carts that are similar to miniature Amazon Go stores: image recognition and scales detect what customers put into their carts and eliminate the need for check-outs.
No need for self-scan
Amazon is attempting to conquer the world of physical supermarkets as well, even with seemingly regular stores with check-outs and staff. However, nothing is as it seems at Jeff Bezos' company: before the year is over, the technology giant will roll out smart shopping carts featuring image recognition and built-in scales.
The smart carts can recognise what products the customers purchase, know how much they cost and charge the customers' accounts accordingly. The new carts remove the need for scanning at a check-out, and even self-scanning is not necessary any more. If the customer has an Alexa account, he or she can even connect the smart cart to the account so it can display the prepared shopping list on its screen.
Pay as you go
Amazon wants to set itself apart from the growing number of retailers that adopt self-scans and contactless payment using smartphones in their stores. "We try to hide that complexity away from customers so you don’t have to learn any new shopping behaviors. Once you’re signed in with your phone, you can put the phone away and your normal way that you shop stays the same", Amazon's technology VP Dilip Kumar told Charged Retail. Customers literally pay as they go, passing the smart cart lane in the check-out area.
The Dash Carts will be put to use in Amazon's new supermarket in Los Angeles, which is currently being built. That store would have a product range ten times as big as the current range of Amazon Go convenience stores. The concept seems rather easy to scale up, because the only thing that is really needed is the smart cart and a special cart lane in the check-out area. This opens perspectives to introduce the concept in Amazon's Whole Foods stores - or even to sell the technology to other retailers.