Amazon’s New Smart Shopping Cart Is Pushing Cashierless Checkout In Physical Stores

Food & Drink

Amazon’s new black and green shopping cart may not look that different from the carts you find in other grocery stores, but there is more beneath the smooth plastic surface. The new smart shopping cart, called Amazon Dash Cart, automatically detects items with sensors, cameras and computer vision algorithms. It allows customers to skip the checkout line in a physical store by charging the credit cards attached to their Amazon accounts.

The Amazon Dash Cart is designed for small shopping trips with room for two bags. The cart has a touchscreen that allows customers to access Alexa shopping lists and a scanner for coupons. The technology will be available at Amazon’s Woodland Hills, California, grocery store in the future.

“When the cart is available, there will be a QR code in the Amazon app that will enable you to easily sign in and begin using the cart. After that, you’ll just place your bags in the cart and start shopping. When you’re done shopping, you’ll simply exit through the store’s Amazon Dash Cart lane, and your receipt will be emailed to you,” Amazon shared.

This is not the first time that Amazon has used cashierless technology. Its Amazon Go stores rely on cameras, scanners and other tech to track what customers purchase and automatically charge them through the app. There are no lines to checkout or cashiers to help you.  

The Dash Cart takes some of the Amazon Go store technology and shrinks it down to a compact and versatile size. The cart replaces the need to put cameras, sensors and scanners in an entire store. Instead, it tracks an individual shopper’s purchases and scans them.

It is possible that the Dash Cart may be a test of a new item Amazon may sell in its Just Walk Out technology. The company offers its cashierless tech to other retailers through Just Walk Out. Earlier this year, the hospitality group OTG shared it would use Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in some CIBO Express Gourmet Markets.

“In Just Walk Out-enabled stores, shoppers enter the store using a credit card. They don’t need to download an app or create an Amazon account. Our Just Walk Out technology detects what products shoppers take from or return to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When done shopping, they can just walk out and their credit card will be charged for the items in their virtual cart,” Amazon explained.

Whether it includes self-scanning carts or something else, cashierless technology will continue to expand in the future. Besides Amazon, other retailers are interested in the tech for their stores.

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