Online retail giant Amazon is beginning to sell its cashier-less store technology to other retailers, the company announced Monday.
In a new website unveiled Monday, Amazon said it is now offering its Just Walk Out technology used in the Amazon Go brick and mortar stores to other retail stores.
“Born from years of experience at Amazon Go, Just Walk Out uses a combination of technologies to eliminate checkout lines,” the company says on the website. “We now offer retailers the ability to leverage this technology in their stores to help bring fast and convenient checkout experiences to more shoppers.”
According to Amazon, many retailers are expressed an interest in offering similar check-out free experiences to customers.
Reuters reported the company has signed several deals with other retailers, but Amazon didn’t name any partners:
The highly anticipated business reflects Amazon’s strategy of building out internal capabilities – such as warehouses to help with package delivery and cloud technology to support its website – and then turning those into lucrative services it offers others.
Its chain Amazon Go has brought shopping without checkout lines into the mainstream, and the market for retail without cashiers – one of the most common vocations in the United States – could grow to $50 billion, U.S. venture firm Loup Ventures has estimated.
Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, had no market forecast to share but said shoppers’ preferences will determine how big the business becomes.
“Do customers like standing in lines?” he asked. “This has pretty broad applicability across store sizes, 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.”
Unlike Amazon Go stores, shoppers will insert a credit card into a gated turnstile to enter, rather than scan an app. The turnstiles will display the logo “Just Walk Out technology by Amazon,” but all other branding and store aspects will be controlled by the retailer using the service.
How the technology works
In stores enabled with the technology, shoppers use a credit card to enter the store and they don’t need to download an app or create an Amazon account.
The technology detects what products shoppers pick up or return to the shelves, and a virtual cart is created. Items in the cart with be charged to the credit card when the customer leaves.
Customers can opt for an emailed receipt by using a kiosk in the store.
It’s the same kind of tech used in self-driving cars, including computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, and installation can take as little as a few weeks, Amazon explains.