Amazon has developed a new version of its cashless shopping technology for clothing retailers.
In this case, the e-commerce giant is acting as part of efforts aimed at expanding its business system beyond the space filled with a network of convenience stores and grocery stores.
Last Tuesday, September 19, the company announced that a new version of its Just Walk Out technology uses radio frequency identification tags, which are also designated as RFID, in order to track clothing. Prior to that, the retail and cloud computing giant’s system worked on the basis of a conditional technological infrastructure consisting of cameras mounted on the ceiling and sensors on shelves. In this case, the company could determine which goods buyers take with maximum specification and detail of these actions. The technology provides automatic debiting of funds from a swiped credit card when leaving the store. At the same time, this system is problematic to distinguish products that have similarities in appearance and weight.
RFID tags are attached to each goods and tracked by stationary readers inside the store. This technology has existed for several decades, it is used mainly in the framework of such applied cases as inventory tracking and exposing shoplifters. The new version expands the scope of tracking.
The retail giant announced in its blog that RFID equipment was provided by Avery Dennison Corporation. Amazon has implemented Just Walk Out technology in several dozen Go convenience stores and fresh food outlets. Also, the corresponding equipment is used at retail facilities managed by licensees, among which mainly sports concessions and shops at airports.
There is currently no clarity on how many clothing retailers will use the RFID version. According to experts, in this case, the so-called repulsive factor may be concerned about too close interaction with large competitors in the area of technologies that are of critical importance.
Amazon has quietly launched RFID-enabled Just Walk Out in fan stores at two Seattle sports arenas, including Lumen Field of the Seahawks National Football League team and Climate Pledge Arena, owned by the Kraken National Hockey League team. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is a minority owner of this hockey team.
During the 2023/24 NFL season, fans will have the opportunity to purchase their favorite team’s gear at the new Seahawks Pro Shop, which is located in the northwest corner of the stadium’s field level. At the end of the 2022 season, the number of customers in the first Just Walk Out store showed an increase of 60%. The total number of transactions per game has also doubled.
There are currently more than 70 Amazon-owned stores and more than 85 third-party retailers with Just Walk Out. These facilities are located in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The technology is used in travel goods stores at airports, sports stadiums, theme parks, entertainment venues, college campuses, and convenience stores.
In August, it became known that Amazon was embarking on a large-scale restructuring of its grocery business after acquiring Whole Foods Market six years ago. The company is updating stores, testing highly automated warehouses, and launching a fresh food delivery service to customers who are not Prime subscribers.