How Amazon Has Changed Grocery Shopping

Amazon continues to dominate the entrepreneurial space, and their recent innovations in the food industry are serving as the blueprint of the grocery shopping of tomorrow.

While Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, and Amazon Fresh stores all look like typical grocery stores, they are anything but. They offer customers a more convenient shopping experience by integrating AI into otherwise everyday shopping.

In addition to having an in-store Alexa, undoubtedly the most notable feature these stores have, or rather, don’t have, is a checkout lane. This is made possible by their Dash Cart and Just Walk Out technology.

Amazon Dash Cart

Think typical shopping cart, but smarter. Amazon Dash Cart eliminates the need for a checkout lane by using a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items put in a cart. When customers exit through the store’s Amazon Dash Cart lane, sensors automatically identify the cart, and payment is processed using the credit card on customers’ Amazon account.

The cart includes a screen at the top where customers can access their Alexa Shopping List to check items off and view their subtotal. In addition, every cart is equipped with a coupon scanner where customers can quickly apply store coupons as they shop.

Just Walk Out

In 2021 Amazon introduced Just Walk Out shopping in its 14th Fresh store in Bellevue, Washington, a 25,000-sq.-ft location, marking the first time this technology was brought to a full-scale grocery store. Through a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, shoppers can simply scan a QR code on their Amazon app upon entry, pick up what they need, and, well, just walk out.

Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s VP of physical retail and technology had this to say about their innovation: “Bringing Just Walk Out technology to a full-size grocery space with the Amazon Fresh store in Bellevue showcases the technology’s continued ability to scale and adapt to new environments and selection. I’m thrilled it will help even more customers enjoy an easier and faster way to shop and can’t wait to get their feedback on this latest Just Walk Out offering.”

Alexa

Another innovation that has helped propel the Amazon grocery shopping experience into the future is Alexa Shopping List which can be accessed and modified via the Alexa app, Amazon app, Whole Foods Market app, Amazon.com, or on any Alexa-enabled device.  The Alexa Shopping list can also be coordinated with the Amazon Dash Cart, which can then help customers tick items off their list by identifying what has been placed in the cart.

In addition, customers of the Woodland Hills Fresh store have access to Alexa Kiosks that can help them navigate the store. Customers can ask Alexa where to find the ketchup and they’ll be pointed to the right aisle.

Where Do You Fit In?

Amazon had its humble beginnings in a garage in Bellevue in 1994. Initially a simple website, its primary function was to sell books. However, through constant innovation and integration of technology, Amazon has molded itself into an omnidirectional giant, earning it the moniker “The Everything Store”.

So where do you fit in this narrative?

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