Amazon unveiled its first Amazon Go store — aka the world’s first cashier-free grocery store — in Seattle today. You scan your phone upon entry, grab what you want, leave, and Amazon bills you electronically within minutes. Now that the store is open to the public, patrons who have actually shopped inside Amazon Go have begun sharing their experiences on social media. According to Gianna Puerini, a vice president for Amazon who oversees Amazon Go, the store is for “people pressed for time and hungry.” So what did these busy and hungry people think?
Most of the people who showed up for opening day seemed to geek out about the tech. Amazon has been pretty opaque about the tech involved but has revealed that it uses infrared ceiling cameras, weight sensors on the shelves, and a visual dot code on each item that allows the cameras to identify a purchase. One journalist even tried to shoplift, but Amazon billed him anyway. The tech-meets-brick-and-mortar mashup seemed to be the biggest draw. People just seemed blown away by the new shopping experience.
However, it’s not the glitch-free haven Silicon Valley wants you to think it is. One woman said the store didn’t charge her for a cup of yogurt.
The general “look” of the store is similar to that of a 7-Eleven, Target grocery section, or the short-lived Fresh & Easy chain.
Amazon Go offers mostly pre-made, grab-and-go offerings. It’s not meant to replace the traditional grocery store.
It does appear that there are employees standing at the entrance to ensure that you scan your barcode on your phone before entering.
Today is only the store’s first day, so we’ll have to wait to see what shoppers think of it in the long run.