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An update on Amazon’s plans for Just Walk Out and checkout-free technology

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While a lot has changed in the 10 years since we started the journey to reimagine the physical shopping experience, one thing has remained constant: Shoppers still don’t like waiting in lines. That was the notion that originally led us to use computer vision, sensor fusion, and generative AI to invent checkout-free technologies like Just Walk Out, Amazon Dash Cart, and Amazon One (our palm recognition service for entry, identification, and payment). Initially built for our own Amazon physical stores (e.g., Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, etc.), these technologies can now be found in hundreds of locations worldwide and allow shoppers to identify, pay, and skip the checkout line—making the shopping experience measurably better for customers.

Customers value Just Walk Out technology because they are usually on a “mission driven” shopping trip, making quick purchases of relatively few items, and can shop just like they would in any other store without standing in line to pay or scanning items at self-checkout. In fact, the response from shoppers to Just Walk Out in small-format stores has been so strong that we will launch more small-format third-party Just Walk Out stores in 2024 than any year prior, more than doubling the number of third-party stores with the technology this year.

Hudson’s Nonstop stores enabled by Just Walk Out technology

In larger grocery stores, where customers are making a big weekly trip and buy a greater number of items, customers so far prefer Amazon Dash Cart, our smart shopping cart, which uses the same advanced, computer vision technology as Just Walk Out. In these larger stores, along with skipping the line at checkout, Dash Cart serves as a shopping companion that travels through the store with a customer, helping them locate items with an on-cart screen featuring maps and navigation, and receive personalized shopping experiences, all while tracking their savings and spending in real time. As such, we have already begun expanding Dash Cart to all Amazon Fresh stores as well as third-party grocers.

A photo of a customer walking out of an Amazon Fresh Store through the Dash Cart line.

Amazon Dash Cart

Regardless of the size or format of the store, shoppers tell us they like the security and convenience of Amazon One, our palm recognition service. Amazon One allows shoppers to securely checkout with nothing more than the palm of their hand by looking at both the palm and its underlying vein structure to create a unique palm signature for identity matching. Amazon One is available at any one of the 500+ Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S., several Amazon stores, and over 150 third-party locations in stadiums, airports, fitness centers, convenience stores, and more. Amazon One has been used more than 8 million times, and over 80% of shoppers who use Amazon One at Amazon and Whole Foods Market stores choose to use the service repeatedly.

Just Walk Out technology shines in smaller stores

A photo of three customers purchasing Seahawks merchandise with Just Walk Out Technology at a retail store in Lumen Field.

Just Walk Out technology-enabled store for fan merchandise at Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington

We have strong conviction that Just Walk Out technology will be the future in stores that have a curated selection where customers can pop in, grab the small number of items they need, and simply walk out. Even with relatively few items sold per visit, we have already sold over 18 million items in Just Walk Out stores, and there are now more than 140 third-party locations with Just Walk Out technology in the U.S., UK, Australia, and Canada. These include travel retailers, sports stadiums, entertainment venues, conference centers, theme parks, convenience stores, hospitals, and college campuses. The momentum for Just Walk Out stores will continue to grow for two reasons: Customers love the convenience, and businesses love the increased sales, reduced theft, and return on investment.

For example, when Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders, opened its first Just Walk Out technology-enabled store, it reported an 85% increase in transactions and a 112% increase in sales, per game. Lumen Field now has the most Just Walk Out locations of any venue in the world, with nine stores serving more than 68,000 sports fans.

Delaware North, one of the largest privately-owned hospitality and entertainment companies in the world, has opened more than a dozen stores with Just Walk Out technology at stadiums across the U.S., and these stores serve 20%-30% more customers than traditional concession stands, leading to more revenue and more satisfied fans.

Market Express at ExCel London, which has 400 events and more than 4 million visitors a year, is now able to serve 300% more customers on their busiest days and has increased annual revenue by 56%.

A photo of a hospital employee scanning their badge using Just Walk Out technology to enter a hospital retail store.

Just Walk Out technology-enabled store for healthcare workers at Candler Hospital, Savannah, Georgia

Just Walk Out technology delivers more than increased throughput and sales. It also optimizes staffing and enables extended operating hours—even 24/7 and unstaffed at night. This includes the third shift at hospitals, where our innovation offers the ability for health care professionals to pay by swiping their hospital badge. At peak hours, Just Walk Out allows employees to focus on higher-value tasks, and allows retailers to reduce operating costs without sacrificing sales.

While we’re growing the number of smaller format Just Walk Out stores, the team continues to invent the next generation of this technology to improve the checkout experience for large-format stores. We’re building edge compute and the associated algorithms to improve latency and accuracy for faster and more reliable receipts, a new set of algorithms for action recognition, and new sensors so retailers can offer customers even greater selection.

Customers are excited by Amazon Dash Cart for grocery shopping

A photo of the Amazon Dash Cart screen.

Amazon Dash Cart

In grocery and large-format stores where the number of items purchased and total spend is often higher than in smaller locations, customers tell us a running tally of purchases is more important to them. Customers want to manage their budget during their shopping journeys, in real time, including the ability to weigh produce and understand cost, before they check out. That’s where Dash Cart comes in. When it comes to groceries, shoppers tend to need a lot of them (and a cart to put them in), while also minding the family budget.

To use Amazon Dash Cart, customers simply sign in and start shopping, scanning, and weighing items as they go, so they can understand the cost of each purchase. The Dash Cart, like Just Walk Out technology, uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to help identify items placed in and removed from the cart. The Dash Cart’s screen shows a real-time receipt of all items that have been placed in the cart. When customers are ready to check out, they can skip the checkout line and simply exit the store through the Amazon Dash Cart lane, and a receipt is instantly emailed to them.

Grocers like Dash Cart, too. With a better ability to monitor their budget, recommendations on new items and deals in the store, and access to shopping lists and item location, shopping is more convenient for customers using the Dash Cart. Dash Cart shoppers spend 10% more than non-Dash Cart shoppers at Amazon Fresh stores, and over 80% of daily Dash Cart transactions are from repeat users thanks to its 98% customer satisfaction rating. In fact, our research shows that people will drive farther to a store if it offers Dash Cart.

A photo of a self checkout stand within an Amazon Fresh store.

Amazon Dash Cart

Dash Carts are currently available at select Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh stores, and will soon be available at all U.S. Amazon Fresh stores and select third-party grocery stores near you. We’re also excited for what we have planned for future iterations of Dash Cart, which will make shopping even more intuitive and as familiar as using a traditional shopping cart.

Is Just Walk Out or Dash Cart driven manually by people in India?

A photo facing the entrance of a market that uses Just Walk Out Technology. A customer is signing in at the forefront of the image.

Just Walk Out technology-enabled store at ExCel, London

Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Dash Cart, and Amazon One are made possible thanks to our AI researchers pushing the boundaries of what is possible with computer vision, specifically item and action recognition, sophisticated low-cost sensors for weight and vision, and deep learning ML models. In the case of Just Walk Out, Amazon researchers have made these technologies work together seamlessly in the background, in order to figure out which customer took which item to generate an accurate receipt, while preserving customer privacy.

Just Walk Out technology detects when a shopper’s hand interacts with a product on the shelf. When that happens, machine learning (ML) algorithms make sure the correct item is added to the shopper’s virtual cart—all without any specific knowledge about the person. For example, when a shopper enters a store, the technology simply links them with their payment method and assigns a temporary numeric code, which serves as the shopper’s unique digital signature for that shopping trip. The system preserves the code throughout the shopper’s time in the store. When they exit, the code disappears, and if they come back, they get a new code. As part of our ongoing commitment to customer trust and privacy, Just Walk Out technology does not use or collect any biometric information of shoppers.

The erroneous reports that Just Walk Out technology relies on human reviewers watching from afar is untrue. Most AI systems, including the underlying ML models behind these technologies, are continuously improved by annotating synthetic (AI generated) and real shopping data. Our associates are responsible for this labeling and annotation step. Associates don’t watch live video of shoppers to generate receipts—that’s taken care of automatically by the computer vision algorithms. This is no different than any other AI system that places a high value on accuracy, where human reviewers are common.

We are excited about the future of AI-powered, identity and checkout solutions like Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Dash Cart, and Amazon One. The future of retail will be transformed by AI, and we are just getting started.

Learn more about Just Walk Out technology, Dash Cart, and Amazon One

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