Amazon's Just Walk Out till-free tech offered to rivals

2020/08/19 17:45

Today's Vocabulary

1.accounts (n)
an official record of all the money a person or company has spent and received

2.adapted (adj)
changed slightly for a particular purpose or use

3. billed (v)
to give or send someone a bill  asking for money that they owe  for a product or service

4. footage (n) 
(a piece of)film especially one showing an event

5. lucrative (adj) 
(especially of a business, job, or activity) producing a lot of money

6. friction (n) 
disagreement or unfriendliness caused by people having different opinions

Amazon's Just Walk Out till-free tech offered to rivals

Amazon is offering its till-less technology to other High Street shops, just over two years after launching it via its own Go Grocery chain.

Go Grocery shoppers scan a smartphone app as they arrive, allowing them to pay via their main Amazon accounts.

It has now adapted its Just Walk Out system for other retailers so shoppers register a payment card on entry and are automatically billed as they leave.

But, unlike at Go Grocery, users’ Amazon accounts will not be involved.

And the firm has said that information collected about consumers will only be used to support the retailers it has partnered with.

“We only collect the data needed to provide shoppers with an accurate receipt,” Amazon’s website says.

“Shoppers can think of this as similar to typical security camera footage.”

The system involves fitting a shop with hundreds of cameras and depth-sensors, whose data is then remotely analysed on Amazon’s computer servers.

The software can distinguish whether a shopper has picked up and kept a product for purchase or if they have only examined an item before replacing it back on a shelf.

Amazon says it can install the required equipment in “as little as a few weeks”.

NBK Retail consultancy founder Natalie Berg said the move had been long-expected.

“It’s far more lucrative for Amazon to license the technology to other retailers than to just use it in its own grocery stores,” she said.

“What Amazon does very well is cut out friction and of course the biggest source or friction in the grocery stores and supermarkets is the checkout.

“But there will still be opportunities for other vendors [with rival solutions] because you’re never going to see Walmart implement Amazon’s checkout-free tech.”

Amazon’s own site says: “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.”

Ms Berg said: “Ultimately, there will be fewer jobs as automation comes in.

“But [those that remain] will focus on more customer-facing tasks and should provide a better experience to customers.

“And from that point of view, the skills required across the retail sector are going to evolve massively over the next decade.”


  1. What is the name of the Amazon software?
  2. What do shoppers need to scan?
  3. What will the software mean stores need fewer of?
  4. What does the software automatically calculate?

“Buy groceries and feed yourself, even on the road.”

Steve Albini