Front of an Amazon Fresh store

Amazon is revising its grocery shopping strategy. The internet retail giant is replacing its "Just Walk Out" system with Dash Carts. The "Just Walk Out" technology, introduced in 2016, was once hailed as an innovative disruption in grocery shopping.

However, the decision aims to transition towards a more customer-focused, efficient, and reliable solution with Dash Carts. This article will explain the details of this strategy shift and the company's other prospects.

The Fall Of "Just Walk Out"

The operation of "Just Walk Out" technology relied heavily on sensors and cameras to monitor and track customers' purchases. However, behind the scenes, over 1,000 personnel in India meticulously observed and labeled shopping videos for accurate checkouts.

Below are some of the downsides that have led to the fall of "Just Walk Out" checkouts.

  • The receipt latency often left customers waiting for hours.
  • The heavy reliance on the extensive use of scanners and cameras made it a costly initiative.
  • Amazon's internal goals were allegedly not met, with human reviewers needed for 700 out of 1,000 "Just Walk Out" sales.m

Despite these assertions, Amazon countered that the figures did not accurately reflect reality.

The Advent Of Dash Carts

Amazon Fresh, initiated in 2007, will lead the transition to Dash Carts. Equipped with integrated scanners and screens, Dash Carts will allow customers to check out their purchases while shopping.

Following this change, self-checkout counters will also be established in Amazon Fresh stores, making the service accessible to non-Amazon members.

What Lies Ahead?

Although Amazon is moving away from the "Just Walk Out" technology, it plans to maintain the system in a limited number of Amazon Fresh stores in the UK and a few Amazon Go convenience stores. Additionally, the technology will still be employed in several US ballparks.

The shift to Dash Carts and self-checkout counters signifies Amazon's ambition to compete against grocery titans like Walmart, Costco, and Kroger. Despite owning Whole Foods, Amazon is still charting its course in the grocery market, which makes it a critical step toward that goal.

While the vestiges of the old system remain in select locations, the retail company's primary focus is currently on Dash Carts and self-checkout counters.