Amazon has officially opened their first convenience store in Seattle, Washington, and it’s just as innovative as we dreamed it would be. Amazon Go is not like any other shopping experience to date—expect zero checkout lines, zero cashiers, and no physical exchange of money. The company’s “just walk out” mentality isn’t shoplifting—we promise!
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So how does one shop without a wallet, or a checkout system? All money transactions occur wirelessly through the Amazon Go app and your Amazon account. Upon arrival, costumers scan the Amazon Go app at a turnstile before the shopping begins. Once you have picked your items, you can leave without lines or human interaction—unless you are purchasing alcohol, your ID must be approved by a store employee. Anything you leave with is automatically charged to your account.
Yes, this all sounds too good to be true, but Amazon isn’t bluffing—through a combination of cameras, shelf sensors, and the store's vision system monitors, all in-store actions and shelf movement is detected. According to Arstechnica, some minor issues have occurred when the store is overcrowded or items get misplaced.
As of right now, Amazon has yet to confirm plans for expansion. Seattle’s Amazon Go could be a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, or the company could sell the concept to other retailers. If Amazon Go lives up to the hype, we have a feeling it could influence the way we shop everywhere.
The Amazon updates don’t end there—beloved Amazon Prime subscribers can expect an up in their monthly fee by nearly 20 percent. On Friday, Amazon announced the monthly cost of Prime will go from $10.99 to $12.99 in the U.S., costing $156 a year. Students can also expect a price jump from $5.49 to $6.49.
So, what gives Amazon? As it turns out, all the benefits the site provides is getting very expensive on Amazon’s end and there must be a change in prices to accommodate this. Even so, Amazon Prime is still an amazing value with incredible perks. I don’t think we will be discontinuing our subscription any time soon.