It is second nature these days to shop with Amazon, whether for books, gifts or household items. In recent days it has included food too. No surprise then to discover that Amazon is extending the 'no queuing' concept to its supermarket idea and introducing an end to the miserable experience of queuing at the till. Amazon are introducing a grocery shop where shoppers can walk straight out without going through the checkout.
Rather than waiting for your goods to be scanned by a a cashier, Amazon's new stores will give customers the opportunity to pay for their products they have selected from the shelves via a smartphone app. The 'Just Walk Out' system, will use a network of cameras and sensors to detect when items are taken from the shelves, or returned to them, and track them in a virtual shopping trolley. Once the customer leaves the store, the bill will be automatically deducted from the person's Amazon Prime account and a receipt sent. I'm told that the system uses the same type of technology found in self-driving cars.
The marketing press report that Amazon has spent four years developing this new system and that the first shop will open to the public in Seattle, Washington, USA, early in 2017, with the UK following soon after. So what can you buy at this 'no checkout required' store, I hear you say?
Well, reports say it will start by offering ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options as well as essential food items such as bread and milk and Amazon's own ready-meals. The latter contain all the ingredients to make a meal for two in 30 minutes. It all seems ideal for those on-the-go or wanting that quick shopping experience and who knows where this will lead - to all supermarkets?
I'm not sure if it appeals to me, but I'll give it a try first, as anything that avoids queuing at the checkout has to be good news!