Amazon is continuing to expand its checkout-free shopping experience within its Amazon Fresh grocery stores. The latest opening is happening in Huntington Beach, California, with a 35,000 square-foot store.
This is the 15th location in Southern California, and the company’s “Just Walk Out” service will allow consumers to skip the checkout line by entering the store and simply scanning a QR code in their Amazon app. Alternatively, they can use Amazon One or insert a credit or debit card to open the “Just Walk Out” gates.
From there, shoppers can proceed as normal, but any products taken off the shelf (and returned to the shelf) will automatically update in their virtual cart. Once they’re done, consumers can walk out of the store after scanning or inserting their entry method again.
All transactions can be completed virtually, using consumers’ saved card information to fund the purchase.
“The feedback has been fantastic, with customers noting that skipping the checkout allows them to save time and reduce contact in stores,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon, in a statement.
Of the Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S., 11 of those have “Just Walk Out Shopping” (the others have Dash Carts), Amazon tells RIS.
According to Amazon, the store will create hundreds of high-quality jobs with a starting wage of $16.40/hour, and will be donating surplus food to local food banks.
More Tech Advancements in Amazon Stores
Amazon also recently announced it is introducing its Amazon One palm recognition technology to all Whole Foods Market stores in the Austin, Texas area. The first Whole Foods location in the area to feature the touchless payment option is the Arbor Trails store. The tech enables shoppers to pay with just a scan of their palm. Austin is the first region outside the Seattle area where Whole Foods Market is offering Amazon One as a payment option.
“We are excited to introduce Amazon One as an option for our Austin-area Whole Foods Market customers,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer and SVP, Whole Foods Market. “We are always looking for new ways to satisfy and delight our customers and offer convenient options to improve the shopping experience.”
Additionally, Amazon revealed it is seeking certifications from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) for environmentally friendly store models. Amazon expects the store will save nearly 185 tons of CO2e each year, equivalent to driving around the Earth 18 times in a standard passenger vehicle (Calculation based on CO2e saved, using the EPA carbon calculator).
Also, the company is currently rolling out a tech pilot across its Amazon Style stores in the U.S. The first pilot store in Beverly Hills, California, will feature fitting rooms with smart mirrors that recognize products brought into the room by item, size, and color, offering personalized product and styling recommendations.
The company has launched its own digital innovation fund, Prima Ventures, which will invest $20 million in emerging tech startups that are looking to reshape the future of online and in-store experiences. Learn more.
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