Amazon is in the top 5 biggest companies in the world by market capitalization. The company is constantly innovating and expanding its range of services. Its latest endeavor is called Amazon Go. Amazon Go is a cashier-less convenience store. While there are self-checkout stalls in many stores in the country, Amazon Go will be the first store to operate completely without cashiers and will require no checkout at all. There are already eleven of these stores in the US and the latest one is about to open in downtown New York on Tuesday.
The new location will span 1,300 square feet and will be located on the second floor of a shopping mall. This will be the first location to open in New York as the rest are mainly located on the West Coast.
Amazon Go will now accept cash payments as well
Soon after the first stores opened, people started to criticize Amazon Go for not accepting cash payments. According to them, this was a discriminatory practice that disadvantaged those that didn’t have access to the banking services. The company has made an effort to rectify this drawback. It has already implemented a method for accepting government-subsidized SNAP benefits. Amazon Cash, a program introduced by the company allows users without access to the banking services to deposit money on their digital accounts at stores like 7-Eleven and CVS. This way, they can still use Amazon Go without the need to pay with cash.
The new store in New York will accept cash payments as well. The way the process works is that a customer who wants to pay in cash has to ask for the help of a sales assistant who will be able to process the payment through the mobile phone. While different from the traditional cashiers, this is still much closer to a traditional payment model and slightly diverges from the business model that Amazon Go is aiming for. However, it should be noted that accepting cash payments gives access to the store’s services to a wider group of people. Some cities in the country like Philadelphia have already banned stores that don’t accept payments in cash. With the expectations of a similar ban to be imposed in New York, the store will be prepared to continue operating.
How does Amazon Go work?
If you are interested in visiting one of Amazon Go’s locations or are simply curious about the process of shopping at these stores, we will describe it in more detail here. The general idea is that a customer can walk into a store, pick up any product and leave right away without the need to check out at all. To do this, they would have to download the Amazon Go application, create an account and link payment information. When the customer picks up a product from the shelf, the weight sensor will be triggered and the corresponding price will be added to the customer’s bill. If the customer puts the product back on the shelf, it will be subtracted from the bill.
In order to achieve security at such stores, that don’t have cashiers to monitor the behavior of the clients, Amazon Go uses various technologies that include sensor fusion, computer vision, and deep learning algorithms. Naturally, this business model depends on the prevalence of smartphones, but with most businesses migrating to these platforms, the trend in the growth of these devices is unlikely to reverse. Amazon plans to open as many as 3,000 stores of this type across the country.