Amazon is reportedly planning to announce a new business service — one that would no longer make it necessary for shoppers to wait in checkout lines.
According to Reuters, the e-commerce giant will sell its automated checkout service, dubbed the Just Walk Out Technology and available at its cashierless convenience stores, to third-party retailers. Amazon did not name the companies but said it had “several” signed deals, added the report.
The service would eliminate the need for cashiers or self-checkout lanes, allowing customers to insert their credit cards into gated turnstiles to enter stores. Items they have picked up will be added to their virtual cart, and the store will bill their cards once they have exited the stores.
“This has pretty broad applicability across store sizes and across industries because it fundamentally tackles a problem of how do you get convenience in physical locations, especially when people are hard-pressed for time,” Amazon’s VP of physical retail and technology told Reuters.
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According to a 2018 report by payment platform Adyen, retailers lose a collective $37.7 billion in potential sales due to long checkout lines, as an increasing number of consumers demand alternative payment options and are willing to make purchases through non-traditional channels.
Last month, Amazon debuted its first full-size cashierless store near its headquarters in Seattle — the latest in the company’s efforts to dominate the market for retail without cashiers. Through a website dedicated to the Just Walk Out service, the e-tail behemoth wrote that the technology can be installed in new spaces or retrofitted into existing stores in only a few weeks.
“We built Just Walk Out technology leveraging the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning,” Amazon added on the site. “Retailers will still employ store associates to greet and answer shoppers’ questions, stock the shelves, check IDs for the purchasing of certain goods and more. Their roles have simply shifted to focus on more valuable activities.”
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