Understanding Amazon Go’s Tech and Expansion

Understanding Amazon Go's Tech and Expansion

  • Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store in 2018.
  • The stores offer ‘Just Walk Out’ technology so customers can quickly grab groceries.
  • Amazon has closed some Go locations and announced plans to open others in suburban areas.

Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store in 2018, as a spot for shoppers to quickly grab snacks, coffee, groceries, and meals. 

The stores use Just Walk Out technology, which eliminates the need for shoppers to stand in lines, scan their items, or pay in a traditional way. 

To enter an Amazon Go store, customers use their Amazon app, a credit card, or the Amazon One payment system to open an entry gate. They fill their bags with whatever items they need, and when they’re ready to check out, they simply leave the store. Shoppers walk through the exit gate, and Amazon charges them for what they’ve taken. 

A hand holding a smartphone hovers on a scanner in an Amazon Go store with grocery shelves in the background

The entrance to an Amazon Go store features a gate that opens with your Amazon account or a palm print.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Amazon describes the cashier-less stores as “a new kind of corner store.” 

But, Amazon officials said earlier this year that it’s re-evaluating its physical-store strategy.

“We periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way,” a spokesperson said.

The company has permanently closed several Amazon Go stores, including locations in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City.

Does Amazon Go still exist?

Despite announcing several store closures, about two dozen Amazon Go stores exist across the country, according to the company’s website. Amazon has shuttered some stores in urban areas and has announced plans to open more in the suburbs targeting people working from home.

Is Amazon Go any good?

Amazon Go stores’ Just Walk Out system has been attractive to shoppers, who appreciate the convenience and novelty factor.

“The prices are good, the selection is solid, and I was crazy impressed with how seamlessly all the technology worked,” Insider’s Matt Weinberger wrote in a 2018 review of an Amazon Go store in Seattle.

Why is Amazon Go special?

What’s unique about Amazon Go is the Just Walk Out technology. Customers use their Amazon app, a credit card, or Amazon One to open a gate to enter the store. They shop for what they need and then simply leave the store through the designated exit gate. Customers are charged for what they take from the shop. 

Amazon Go offers a quick way for shoppers to grab a cup of coffee, lunch, a snack, or a few groceries. It eliminates the need to stand in a checkout line or scan items. 

How many Amazon Go stores exist?

According to Amazon’s website, there are 24 Amazon Go stores.

Is Amazon permanently closing cashierless?

Amazon has closed several Amazon Go stores, but the company still operates 24 locations across the U.S. It has also opened Amazon Fresh stores that utilize ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, including locations in the UK. The first UK location opened in 2021.

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