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Make convenience stores even more convenient with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One

How these new technologies from Amazon are helping transform the retail experience

No one likes waiting in lines. The convenience stores that win shoppers’ loyalty are those that offer quick in-and-out shopping trips. Several years ago, Amazon set out to build Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One for Amazon Go stores to offer a new shopping experience that was easier and faster.

After receiving great experience feedback from shoppers, we considered how to apply this technology beyond Amazon Go stores. At the time, retailers were expressing interest in offering similar checkout-free shopping experiences for their customers. So we decided to offer other retailers the ability to use these technologies in their own stores. By extending the technologies to other retailers, more shoppers would be able to just take what they want and leave without stopping to check out.

What is Just Walk Out technology?

Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology uses the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars, including computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Retailers can still decide what they want to sell in their stores, but now they can offer the same checkout-free shopping experience that people have come to know and love at Amazon Go.

Where and how is the technology currently being used?

At Amazon, we invent and test new technologies in our own store environments. For example, we first implemented Just Walk Out technology at our own convenience stores—Amazon Go. Since then, we’ve applied the technology in larger grocery formats like at select Amazon Fresh locations and Whole Foods Market stores. And now, we offer the same technology to retailers in new verticals—including travel retail, sports stadiums, and live event venues. Some of our customers include Sainsbury’s, TD Garden, WHSmith, and the Climate Pledge Arena. Across all locations, shoppers benefit from an experience that is consistently fast, frictionless, and convenient.

How do consumers shop in a Just Walk Out technology-enabled store?

Retailers have the flexibility to define most of the retail functions in a Just Walk Out technology-enabled store, including the entry and exit experience, postpurchase shopper experience, product pricing, and payment method. Depending on the customizations set by the retailer, shoppers have a few ways to enter a store using Just Walk Out technology: they can enter by inserting a credit card, using a QR code on an app, or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device.

Once inside the store, consumers shop like normal. Anything the shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart; anything they put back on the shelf is removed from their virtual cart. For example, if they take a soda off a shelf, it goes into their virtual cart, but they won’t be charged for it until they’re done shopping and leave the store.

What is Amazon One?

Amazon One is a palm-recognition service that allows consumers to use their palm to enter, identify, and pay. In a convenience store (or “c-store”) environment equipped with Just Walk Out technology, shoppers can use Amazon One to both enter and pay. Once a consumer has finished shopping and left the store, the credit card linked to their Amazon One ID will be charged for items they took from the shelves while in the store.

What are the advantages of checkout-free technology?

Shoppers have described the Just Walk Out shopping experience as magical. The technology has broad applicability across store sizes and industries, especially in places with high demand, long lines, or shoppers pressed for time. C-store shoppers expect convenience, and retailers don’t want to lose a sale because a shopper sees a line and decides not to wait.

For retailers, the technology scales easily to handle any number of shoppers or products in the store. It uses intuitive visual tools for restocking and integrates with various retail payment systems, fixtures, merchandising, and store formats.

What makes this technology a good fit for convenience stores?

We know this technology works well in c-stores because we use it in our own—Amazon Go. In a retail setting where you want to get in, get out, and go, Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One enhances the shopper experience and reduces friction from the moment the shopper enters the store.

How hard is it to retrofit a store?

Retrofitting a store with Just Walk Out technology is often easier than you think. Amazon technology can accommodate new store builds, retrofits, and prefab environments. We work closely with our retail customers and collaborate with them on store design, store development, and deployment.

How does Amazon support retailers and c-stores that use Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One?

Our flexible technology allows for a range of retail integration options based on your vision of what your consumer’s complete shopping journey should look like. We use our expertise to understand your vision and design and build a solution with you. We provide a mix of tools, training, and expertise to help retailers run their Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One–enabled stores smoothly. Our support team consists of technology experts who are available 24-7 to address any questions. We also provide retailers with training materials and sessions that prepare their associates to help shoppers who are new to the experience. The technology is backed by Amazon’s security, reliability, and technical support.

How does a Just Walk Out store improve the customer experience? How about the store associate experience?

Getting rid of checkout lines is great for shoppers. With Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One–enabled stores, employees can spend more time assisting shoppers, answering questions, helping them find items, and stocking shelves as needed, rather than operating checkouts and manually processing payments.

Interested in bringing checkout-free shopping to your convenience store? Contact us to learn how.

Portions of this content were originally created and published by Convenience Store News for Amazon.