Amazon’s latest product is aimed at making your brick-and-mortar shopping process easier.
The Seattle-based e-tailer has unveiled a new smart shopping cart, called the Amazon Dash Cart, that allows customers to skip the checkout line.
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The Dash Cart come equipped with a touch screen, as well as a scale to weigh produce and cameras and sensors that use computer vision to identify items placed in the cart.
When arriving in a store with Dash Carts, a shopper first will scan a QR code on the Amazon app, which signs them into their cart. Carts are designed for small- to medium-sized grocery trips and are meant to hold one to two bags. When done shopping, a customer will head out the Dash Cart lane. Then, Amazon will automatically charge their on-file credit cards and email a receipt. Users can also load their Alexa grocery shopping lists with the carts. The carts additionally come equipped with a coupon scanner to quickly apply savings.
The Dash Cart will roll out this year at Amazon’s full-line grocery store in Woodland Hills, Calif., part of a new chain of Amazon-branded grocery stores that are set to make their debut in 2020 after being used to fulfill orders during the pandemic. In addition to lanes for Dash Cart users, the Woodland Hills outpost will also have more traditional lanes.
The full-line grocery stores are the latest in a series of efforts by the e-tail behemoth to expand its brick-and-mortar presence, including the 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods as well as the 2018 launch of the Amazon Go convenience stores.
At Amazon Go stores, customers already can enter with a credit card, grab what they want and head out, using “Just Walk Out” technology. With “Just Walk Out,” stores use computer vision and sensors to determine when customers are grabbing products or returning items to store shelves. This tech can’t be as easily applied to a full-line grocery stores, however, due to the increased catalog of items and the need to weigh some produce.
Amazon has already opened a smaller-format cashierless grocery store — an Amazon Go Grocery in Seattle — that stocks about 5,000 items. The Dash Cart, however, is Amazon’s first attempt at applying cashierless technology to a full-line grocery store (the Woodlands Hills store is expected to span 30,000 to 40,000 square feet).