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Author Topic: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store  (Read 1786 times)

Bruce

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Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« on: September 17, 2018, 12:08:00 PM »

There's now three stores in Seattle where you can walk in, flash your phone at some turnstiles, grab some pre-packaged food, then walk out without having to use a self-checkout or encounter a normal cashier.

The entire store is wired with ceiling cameras that track people as they move around, pick things up, and then leave, tallying up their cart and charging through the app (which takes ~10 minutes to go through). It's smart enough to know if you've picked up something and sent it back or if you're trying to be sneaky and quick.

The tech holds a lot of potential when it comes to places where people like to rush: airport terminals, subway stations, stadium concessions, etc.


Amazon Go at Madison Centre by SounderBruce, on Flickr


Amazon Go at Madison Centre by SounderBruce, on Flickr


Amazon Go at Madison Centre by SounderBruce, on Flickr


Amazon Go at Madison Centre by SounderBruce, on Flickr

abefroman329

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 12:20:01 PM »

They just opened one in Chicago. I donít plan to patronize it - I think this is the level of surveillance that meets my threshold of excessive, and I think itís pretty obnoxious to open a store that youíre only welcome to shop at if you have a smartphone and an Amazon Prime account.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 12:30:56 PM »

There are other stores that do the same thing (same CCTV setup and lack of cashiers) that donít require an Amazon Account.  Iíd be curious to see what the inventory shrink results would be given the business concept is relatively new.  CCTV only goes so far in deterring theft over a flesh and blood person.  Iíd imagine most stores like this will in somewhat low risk areas.   

abefroman329

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 12:34:04 PM »

There are other stores that do the same thing (same CCTV setup and lack of cashiers) that donít require an Amazon Account.  Iíd be curious to see what the inventory shrink results would be given the business concept is relatively new.  CCTV only goes so far in deterring theft over a flesh and blood person.  Iíd imagine most stores like this will in somewhat low risk areas.
Any store is high-risk if foot traffic is high.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 12:43:55 PM »

There are other stores that do the same thing (same CCTV setup and lack of cashiers) that donít require an Amazon Account.  Iíd be curious to see what the inventory shrink results would be given the business concept is relatively new.  CCTV only goes so far in deterring theft over a flesh and blood person.  Iíd imagine most stores like this will in somewhat low risk areas.
Any store is high-risk if foot traffic is high.

But if sales are high it ought to drive shrink by percentage down even if the dollar amount is high.  The real questions probably ought to be; what is the anticipated volume and what is the budgeted shrink reserve?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 12:48:59 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Brandon

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 01:54:04 PM »

There are other stores that do the same thing (same CCTV setup and lack of cashiers) that donít require an Amazon Account.  Iíd be curious to see what the inventory shrink results would be given the business concept is relatively new.  CCTV only goes so far in deterring theft over a flesh and blood person.  Iíd imagine most stores like this will in somewhat low risk areas.   

I'm curious as well.  It sounds like a shoplifting magnet.
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NE2

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 02:25:56 PM »

Gotta steal 'em all.
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Brandon

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 02:45:49 PM »

Gotta steal 'em all.

I've found, in my years working in a grocery store in a middle-class suburb (Bolingbrook), that shoplifting tends to be something people across the socioeconomic spectrum try to get away with.  The memorable ones were:

- A lady from Chicago trying to make off with a cart full of baby formula to her getaway car in the parking lot.  We chased her out and she abandoned the cart in the lot before getting to the vehicle.

- Two kids (had to be 12 or 13 tops) pocketing bottles of wine cooler.  I embarrassed the crap out of them by first noting that they didn't look old enough to have such a product.  They handed over three bottles they had pocketed and got the heck out of there.  Never saw them darken the door of the store again.

- A brazen attempt to steal packs of cigarettes (back when they were out in the open) stopped by a manager and me.

- And my favorite, as a bagger, I noticed about half a dozen gallons of water on the bottom of a cart that some very obviously upper-middle class people were taking through the checkline.  I made note of it to the cashier and told her about the gallons of water.  I got the nastiest look from the couple.  My parents, in the line behind this couple, mentioned to me that it looked like the couple wanted to walk out without paying for the water (a total cost of maybe $7).
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abefroman329

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 02:53:42 PM »

- And my favorite, as a bagger, I noticed about half a dozen gallons of water on the bottom of a cart that some very obviously upper-middle class people were taking through the checkline.  I made note of it to the cashier and told her about the gallons of water.  I got the nastiest look from the couple.  My parents, in the line behind this couple, mentioned to me that it looked like the couple wanted to walk out without paying for the water (a total cost of maybe $7).
My grandmother had Greek neighbors that would go to Jewel and load the bottom of their cart with cases of pop and not unload them to have them scanned or point them out to the cashier. Most of the time, they got away with it, and when my grandmother called them out on it, they would respond ďwell itís the stupid [racial slur] cashierís fault for not seeing them.Ē
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MantyMadTown

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 04:12:56 PM »

I would never shop here. I don't want to have my privacy breached by having a bunch of Amazon cameras turned on me and watch my transactions. I'd rather go to a regular store, where they only have cameras around to prevent shoplifting, have actual cashiers checking you out, and doesn't require you to have an app on your smartphone. Everything seems to be getting replaced by automation these days. Is nothing sacred anymore for these tech companies?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2018, 04:24:18 PM »

I would never shop here. I don't want to have my privacy breached by having a bunch of Amazon cameras turned on me and watch my transactions. I'd rather go to a regular store, where they only have cameras around to prevent shoplifting, have actual cashiers checking you out, and doesn't require you to have an app on your smartphone. Everything seems to be getting replaced by automation these days. Is nothing sacred anymore for these tech companies?

Well if there is a way to cost costs (which includes payroll) companies are going to do it.  Like I said above, Amazon isnít the first retailer to try this concept.  I donít think full automation in the cashiering process outside of convenience stores will be plausible. At some point customers will have questions or problems will happen that an automated register canít handle. 

To that end going to what I was saying about inventory loss earlier, having less of a payroll will certainly increase the margin for error.  But that said stores like this still need to have people stock shelves and receive deliveries.  To that end it makes me curious how many payroll dollars are saved by automation at the register. 

MikeTheActuary

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2018, 04:30:40 PM »

I would never shop here. I don't want to have my privacy breached by having a bunch of Amazon cameras turned on me and watch my transactions. I'd rather go to a regular store, where they only have cameras around to prevent shoplifting, have actual cashiers checking you out, and doesn't require you to have an app on your smartphone. Everything seems to be getting replaced by automation these days. Is nothing sacred anymore for these tech companies?

Actually, for relatively small shopping runs, the idea of being able to "just grab it and go", without having to wait in a checkout queue has quite a bit of appeal.

Sure, you have all the camera technology stealing your soul while they figure out which products you're taking, but if it's done in such a way as to be not too obviously intrusive.   

There's no end to what some Americans are willing to give up in the interest of convenience.
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jakeroot

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 04:37:06 PM »

I have no issue with this concept. I'm not sure how exactly privacy is a concern here. The cameras are watching the items for the most part, plus you already have to have an Amazon account. Plus, checkout lines blow. I have shit to do, and would rather just walk out. Also, stealing is rather hard since you can't enter the store without an Amazon account.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 04:39:29 PM by jakeroot »
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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 04:37:34 PM »

I would be worried about being charged more than what I bought.
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jakeroot

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 04:38:56 PM »

I would be worried about being charged more than what I bought.

You can contest charges and receive an immediate refund, no questions asked.
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formulanone

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 04:44:54 PM »

Actually, for relatively small shopping runs, the idea of being able to "just grab it and go", without having to wait in a checkout queue has quite a bit of appeal.

There's no end to what some Americans are willing to give up in the interest of convenience.

NOT TOTALLY UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA

There will have to be someone on site to deal with the mistaken duplicate charges, stolen merchandise, merchandise that one gets incorrectly charged for, the pricing/stocking errors, and all the other stupid crap that happens in the average grocery or general merchandise store.

jon daly

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2018, 04:57:04 PM »

This sounds like Alan Funt's idea of an Automat.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 05:13:24 PM »

Iím assuming all those items must have RFID of some kind looking at those turnstiles above.  Years ago that was an expensive proposition to RFID anything but a bulk item or palette. 

vdeane

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2018, 05:52:43 PM »

I have to admit, I'm kinda wondering about the possibility of errors in billing.  And having to have a phone app is certainly inconvenient.  That said, I don't otherwise have a problem with this specifically, though I can't help but think about what else a similar camera/software setup could do.  I could easily see an authoritarian government weaponizing something like this against those who won't fall in line.

Is nothing sacred anymore for these tech companies?
Their profits?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2018, 06:06:52 PM »

I have to admit, I'm kinda wondering about the possibility of errors in billing.  And having to have a phone app is certainly inconvenient.  That said, I don't otherwise have a problem with this specifically, though I can't help but think about what else a similar camera/software setup could do.  I could easily see an authoritarian government weaponizing something like this against those who won't fall in line.

Is nothing sacred anymore for these tech companies?
Their profits?

Thatís what the RFID ought to mitigate.  Essentially the customer doesnít ring anything those towers at the front of store just tally up whatís in their bag from the RFID tags.  So long as the tagging is correct there ought to be minimal errors. 

abefroman329

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2018, 06:32:10 PM »

Iím assuming all those items must have RFID of some kind looking at those turnstiles above.  Years ago that was an expensive proposition to RFID anything but a bulk item or palette.
Airlines are putting RFID chips in bag tags.
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nexus73

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2018, 06:36:02 PM »

The products should be sold with a new style of vending machines.  That way anyone with a credit/debit card or dollar bills can make a purchase.  Heck, one can even accept EBT cards as well.  With vending machines doing the holding of products, there goes your shoplifting troubles down the drain!

Rick
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2018, 06:57:55 PM »

Iím assuming all those items must have RFID of some kind looking at those turnstiles above.  Years ago that was an expensive proposition to RFID anything but a bulk item or palette.
Airlines are putting RFID chips in bag tags.

About two decades ago the average RFID tag cost $0.40-0.50 cents.  For bulk items it was no issue to affix them but they werenít partical in a store setting at that price point.  I wonder what the price of an average RFID tag dropped to nowadays.  EAS tags used to be expensive per unit until they became common place in retail stores and often vendor sourced which drove the price down.  I assume the same thing is happening now with RFID. 

abefroman329

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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2018, 07:13:22 PM »

The products should be sold with a new style of vending machines.  That way anyone with a credit/debit card or dollar bills can make a purchase.  Heck, one can even accept EBT cards as well.  With vending machines doing the holding of products, there goes your shoplifting troubles down the drain!

Rick
They tried that in DC. It was a massive failure, partly because the items were priced way too high to compete with nearby convenience stores.
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Re: Amazon Go: the cashier-less convenience store
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2018, 07:18:50 PM »

I have to admit, I'm kinda wondering about the possibility of errors in billing.  And having to have a phone app is certainly inconvenient.  That said, I don't otherwise have a problem with this specifically, though I can't help but think about what else a similar camera/software setup could do.  I could easily see an authoritarian government weaponizing something like this against those who won't fall in line.

Is nothing sacred anymore for these tech companies?
Their profits?

Oh they'll do anything to keep those. Even if it means disrupting entire industries and recreating them in their image.
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