Amazon Go stopped by technological glitches
- Amazon.com has delayed the opening of its first cashierless convenience store due to technical complications, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Amazon Go had some success during a pilot run with employees, which first launched in December. The online retailer was planning to open the store by the end of the month, but now the opening date is uncertain.
- The company has reported difficulties when more than 20 people are in the store at one time. It also has been hard to keep tabs on an item if it has been moved from its specific spot on the shelf.
The industry seemed excited about the upcoming launch of Amazon Go, but even a technology titan like Amazon can be vulnerable at times to delays and glitches. The Seattle-based retailer decided after reviewing its pilot program that it wasn’t ready to release the concept to the public.
The problems it's reporting don’t seem insurmountable. Small kinks in the technology seem to be the main culprit, such as not being able to follow more than 20 people in a store at one time, and not accurately following a product that has been removed from a shelf and repositioned. Both appear to be problems that can be solved rather easily.
Thanks to a finely developed system using cameras, sensors and algorithms to watch customers and track what they pick up, the beta program in Seattle was reportedly going smoothly.
The setbacks with Amazon Go show how hard it is modernize the brick-and-mortar retail space. Still, the ability to add things that make shopping more convenient and faster for the consumer is important for any future grocer. Numerous studies have shown that convenience and the chance to ditch those long checkout lines are some of the biggest demands of today's consumer.
Despite these benefits, some analysts say store concepts like Wheelys 247 and Amazon Go could just be fads that will eventually lose shoppers' interest. At one time, self-checkout lines were going to revolutionize the grocery store experience but computer problems and difficulties in purchasing some items appear to have, at least for now, made it unlikely that they will ever be more than a niche player in the store.
Still, the technological advancement of these store formats can't be ignored. True grocery disruption, like what Amazon Go is proposing, could streamline the shopping experience to such a degree that some consumers may gladly walk away from traditional supermarket formats forever. Even if Amazon Go is facing delays now it could soon be full speed ahead for the futuristic concept; grocery stores beware.
- Wall Street Journal Amazon Delays Opening of Cashierless Store to Work Out Kinks
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