Amazon’s self-checkout technology will soon be operational in its biggest store space yet. The Just Walk Out autonomous checkout is coming to Amazon’s Fresh store brand in Washington state, which will more than double the size of its existing Amazon Go Grocery store. Fresh store shoppers can choose among 1) autonomous checkout with Amazon’s mobile app or palm scanning or 2) traditional checkout lane payment.
The tradeoff for merchants that are considering autonomous checkout is store size vs. cost of technology and installation. C-stores of 2,000 sq. ft. or less have been the typical venue for autonomous checkout. But as the technology cost curve comes down and more developers have entered the market, merchants will find a more favorable ROI scenario. Don’t expect autonomous checkout to be widespread yet, but the number of store installations is definitely increasing.
The following excerpt from a The Verge article reports more on the topic:
Amazon’s cashierless Just Walk Out technology is coming to a full-size grocery store for the first time, the company has announced. The new 25,000 square foot Amazon Fresh store is significantly bigger than the 10,400 square foot Amazon Go Grocery store it opened last year, or its standard 1,200 and 2,300 square feet Go stores, marking a minor milestone as Amazon scales up its technology. The new store will be Amazon’s fourteenth Fresh location in the US when it opens on June 17th in Bellevue, Washington.
When Amazon previously opened a 35,000 square foot Amazon Fresh store last year using its high-tech Dash Carts, it prompted speculation that the company’s Just Walk Out technology wasn’t suitable for larger stores. But Amazon has always maintained that Just Walk Out, which uses a series of overhead cameras and pressure sensitive shelves to automatically detect what shoppers put in their carts, can scale up to stores of any size.
“Bringing Just Walk Out technology to a full-size grocery space with the Amazon Fresh store in Bellevue showcases the technology’s continued ability to scale and adapt to new environments and selection” said Amazon’s vice president of Physical Retail and Technology, Dilip Kumar. “I’m thrilled it’ll help even more customers enjoy an easier and faster way to shop and can’t wait to get their feedback on this latest Just Walk Out offering.”
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group