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Amazon’s Just Walk Out

Amazon is expanding its Just Walk Out technology into Amazon Fresh stores, including one in the Chicago area, and to the Houston Astros’ Stadium.

For several years, Amazon has used its Just Walk Out technology to let customers pay with their hands in Amazon One stores, as shared  in a previous OM in the News post. The technology allows a customer to scan in as they enter the store using one of three methods—their hand, a QR code on their phone, or a debit or credit card linked to their Amazon account.

Once in the store, customers select items that are detected by scanners and cameras. They scan out as they leave the store. Their purchase is then linked to their Amazon account, and billed using the Amazon account payment method. The stores also offer a traditional checkout method for those that don’t want to use the technology.

Other places that use this technology include airport vendor Hudsons, and a Washington, DC Whole Foods store, with another Whole Foods store in Los Angeles planning to adopt it.


Video Spotlight:  


This post is based on the NY Times article, Here Comes the Full Amazonification of Whole Foods , by Cecilia Kang, February 28, 2022; the Engadget article, Houston Astros’ stadium will be the first in MLB to use Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ tech, by J. Fingas, April 13, 2022; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Arsenii Palivoda/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1.  What advantages does Amazon’s Just Walk Out offer for the customer?

Guidance: Amazon believes that one of the most frustrating aspect of shopping is the checkout process, and the time spent in it. By eliminating the checkout line, Amazon intends to improve the shopping experience.

In addition to removing this step in the shopping process, the company is also creating a contactless checkout process. Once registered, it eliminates the need for a customer to have a phone or credit card present.

2. What obstacles might Amazon face in implementing this technology?

Guidance: Amazon must ensure that the process is accurate. This will probably require that the system be maintained properly. Acceptance of the technology by consumers will also be necessary. Some customers will be concerned about the safety of their biometric data that Amazon will now possess. Policies of appropriate usage must satisfy customers, and provisions must be in place to protect the information.

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