Amazon fresh case study

Jeff Bezos took off into space recently. And on his return, thanked all the employees and customers of Amazon. And why will he not? Amazon is not far behind when it comes to flying high with technology as its armor!

How Amazon started the new contactless technology?

In 2016, Amazon had released a video on Youtube and other social media platforms. They had been developing new awe-inspiring technology for the last four years. Video hinted at launching such grocery stores in the US. And just about to change your shopping experience and make it hassle-free.

What will be so unique about this grocery store?

It is going to be the first checkout-less store in the world.

The company had first filed for a patent of the technology in the first half of the year 2015. They patented a system that would work on sensors, cameras, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) readers. This system instantly identifies and tracks shoppers’ identities and the items they picked. 

Amazon first store launch video: Introducing Amazon Go and the world’s most advanced shopping technology – YouTube 

In 2016, they were out with the advertisements dropping a hint for their customers about what they were soon launching.

They decided to launch its first Amazon Go cashier-less grocery store in 2018. They used ‘just walk-out technology.’ And it was all the work of an app! Amazon Go app helped customers make payments without waiting in long lines at the cashier section. It was touted as the grocery store of the future.

Finally, in 2018 the first Amazon Go store opened in Seattle, Washington, US. The store had opened in their building itself and had turnstile gates for entering the store.

And soon, they were inaugurating their new chain of Amazon Go stores across the whole of America. A total of 25 such stores are currently running in the US.

Let’s know why the shopping experience in Amazon Fresh grocery stores is as simple as it sounds. 

Amazon Go Process

Download the app on your mobile device and use its scanner for every product. Once you pick each item, the scanner on the app can scan it, and produce a bill. You can pay through your Amazon pay account and simply walk out with your bought stuff!

The Amazon Fresh Grocery Store Launch, UK

Amazon launched its much-awaited contactless grocery store in March in several places across the UK. Up until then, there were 20 such contactless stores in the US. 

Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go use the same AI technology for scanning and keeping track of the products. Amazon Go, which had launched in 2016, has store shelves with cameras and sensors installed. But, Amazon fresh stores have installed cameras and sensors inside the customer carts.

Why did it turn out to be a boon for everyone?

Amazon fresh technology store

The rising challenge that the customers faced after the pandemic hit the world over also included grocery shopping. In simple words, the germ-phobia accelerated a shift towards a no-contact shopping experience. The launch of the Ealing store in the UK happened when the shelves also came as a hurdle in the current ‘social distancing’ way of life. So, the company launched a new brand Amazon Fresh with a new idea that was similar yet different from the one established in the US in recent years.

Amazon has planned to open a couple more stores around the UK under the same brand tag ‘Amazon Fresh.’

Will it be successful, or is it just a fad?

The company surveyed the customers in England to find out their first reactions after using the latest technology. And about almost more than half of the interviewed (54%) customers admitted that they loved the experience and think that this will be an excellent and long-term run.

How AI is used to build this magnificent ‘just walk out technology’?

Amazon dash cart video: Amazon Dash Cart in Action – YouTube

Amazon used Artificial Intelligence and made the experience unforgettable for everyone. There are about 25 stores currently running under Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh brand names. The latest ones are opening in the UK, expanding their business and grocery shop chains into more cities. 

Despite all this, it is inevitable to notice that technology is the master behind this new phenomenon. Amazon uses a combination of camera sensors, computer vision, and AI to ensure that you only get charged for what you picked.

Amazon’s ML (Machine Learning model) technology

When people search for very choice-specific products like a dress, or a novel, they would not like a substitute product. But, in grocery shopping, people often consider substitute products. ML technology generates substitute products pairings and gives recommendations. 

EMR (Elastic Map Reduce) technology

EMR (Elastic Map Reduce) technology is a cloud-based service. Amazon uses it to store and manage extensive data of demand and supply of inventory. This EMR technology has some fantastic built-in machine learning tools. Some tools are ApacheMXNet, tensor flow, and Apache Spark MLlib.

Amazon Go Turnstile feature

It uses the NFC (Near Field Communication) for scanning the app on your mobile device when you enter the store. Apple pay uses this technology to give you direct payment access for the items you bought. 

You get logged in via NFC into your Apple pay account once you scan the app at the turnstile. The first scan allows Amazon to start tracking you and prepare bills for what you pick off the shelves. 

Other advanced features

They installed multiple video cams and sensors in all corners of the store and on the shelves. Installed at every angle not to miss movements and track your physical identity.

The next step is computer vision detection. They detect all the sections you went to, what items you picked. And also prepare data about your preferences for their promotional activities. The information is later used for push notifications, and providing suggestions!

The billing system is also automatic; you will receive your bill within 30 minutes of walking out of the store. 

But what happens when your receipt isn’t correct?

There is a whole refund work system also curated by Amazon in case there are some defects and defaults:

  • Self-refund through the app, or contact customer service
  • In case of a wrong or faulty product, you can request a refund within 30 days of the purchase( Don’t have to go physically to the store for replacement).

How people reviewed it?

The physical payment system now has zero relevance with this advancement of technology. And a hoard of people rushed into the store out of excitement when they came to know about the new cashless store opening. Out of all the reviews that various customers had to express, some of them stood out when analyzing the performance:

Products

Less number of own-label brands are kept in the store if you compare them to other grocery stores. They have kept more food and personal hygiene products.

The newly opened Amazon fresh stores have a few on-label products under three categories, Amazon Fresh, By Amazon, and the premium Our selection sub-brand.

The store is not very vast in case of products and brands but is apt for casual grocery shopping.

Prices

In comparison to other big grocery stores, it is a little more expensive. But the convenience is enough to lure people into buying products from Amazon Fresh. 

Although people enjoy the ‘anonymity’ that comes with this cashier-less shopping experience, there is more competition remaining. Amazon’s big competitors like Walmart now have to gear up with new strategies to beat the competition.

What’s in this for you?

Amazon surely has patented the technology, but their innovation proves how much more AI can do. Do you have any brilliant mobile app ideas that can turn the shopping experience for people? Because if you do, then be ready to give a tough time to Amazon! Idea Usher never shies away from providing the best technology details, marketing strategies, and app development services to you. 

For more information on app development, contact us.

 

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