Apparently, our parents have taught us well. While Amazon’s new cashless grocery store, Amazon Go, has encouraged folks to just walk out the door without paying, it would seem that folks aren’t quite on board with that model yet. According to Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, it has taken shoppers a bit of time to get used to the fact that walking out of a store without stopping by a cash register is not, in fact, immoral or illegal.
At Shoptalk, a retail industry event in Las Vegas, Puerini noted that she has been struck by the number of customers who have second-guessed their ability to take advantage of the cashless convenience offered by Amazon Go. ‘‘What we didn’t necessarily expect was how many people would stop at the end on their first trip or two and ask, ‘Is it really OK if I just leave?’’’ Puerini said of the new-age store that opened in January in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle.
She also noted that thus far, the most popular grab-and-go item has been the chicken sandwich. In fact, most of the best-selling items are in the food category — other popular purchases have been meal kits and fresh fruit. This actually doesn’t come as much of a surprise to the executive, who noted that the whole idea of the store is to cater to folks who are hungry but in a rush. But clearly, the chefs supplying Amazon Go know what they’re doing — apparently, many customers are not only repeat customers, but frequent customers, too.
Thanks to the Amazon Go app, the ecommerce giant always knows what is flying off the shelves and what to restock. The app allows customers to provide real-time feedback and is, of course, also key to ensuring that folks are ultimately paying for what they take. When you enter an Amazon Go store, you scan your phone, and the technology within the store keeps tabs on what you pick up, and sends you a bill when you leave.
Although it’s taking folks a little bit of time to get used to this concept, it’s obviously far more time-efficient than the current checkout-line model. But when it comes to actually applying this technology to Whole Foods, the grocery chain Amazon acquired last year, Puerini says that we shouldn’t hold our breath.
‘‘The work we do with them (Whole Foods) is focused on making natural and organic food available to more people,’’ she said. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an Amazon Go store to come to a location near you, the executive says simply, ‘‘Stay tuned.’’
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