Amazon Aims to Outdo Walmart's Retail Game, Boosts Cashierless Tech in Stores

Zinger Key Points
  • Amazon expands cashierless "Just Walk Out" to over 280 third-party stores this year.
  • Shifts from "Just Walk Out" to smart carts in Fresh stores, enhancing customer spend. Inc AMZN has announced plans to significantly expand its “Just Walk Out” cashierless shopping technology in third-party stores throughout the year, aiming to more than double its current deployment from 140 stores. 

This technology lets customers shop without waiting at a register. They scan an app to enter and automatically pay for their items as they leave. 

Amazon clarified that the receipt generation process is automated through computer vision algorithms, though human reviewers are involved in enhancing accuracy, Reuters reports.

The decision to extend Walk Out technology to more external locations, including stadiums and Hudson News at airports, contrasts with Amazon’s strategy for its Fresh grocery stores. 

Here, Amazon plans to replace the technology with “smart” shopping carts that log purchases and charge customers upon exit, noting that Fresh customers tend to spend more when using these carts.

The move is part of Amazon’s efforts to compete with retail giants like Walmart Inc WMT, especially after it acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for over $13 billion. 

Analysts noted the company’s shift from Walk Out technology to Dash Carts in most Fresh stores due to the former’s limitations in larger formats. 

They highlighted Amazon’s senior VP of grocery stores reporting a positive customer response to the real-time spending feedback provided by Dash Carts, unlike the delayed receipt issue with ‘Just Walk Out.’ 

Analysts also flagged Amazon revamping its Fresh locations with more appealing designs and customer-centric features, including coffee shops, as part of its evolving grocery strategy. 

Analysts noted that smart carts could offer additional advertising revenue opportunities for Amazon.

Amazon stock gained over 77% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via SPDR Select Sector Fund – Consumer Discretionary XLY and ProShares Online Retail ETF ONLN.

Price Action: AMZN shares traded higher by 0.29% at $181.80 premarket on the last check Thursday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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