Whole Foods Market customers will soon have the option to save time shopping for groceries by skipping the checkout line, Amazon revealed this week. Starting next year, Whole Foods stores in Washington, DC, and Sherman Oaks, CA, will offer its Just Walk Out technology option.
"We launched the technology first in Amazon Go several years ago and, since then, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from customers who love being able to quickly and easily shop and skip the checkout line," said Amazon vice president of physical retail technology Dilip Kumar.
In addition to our Amazon Go stores, Just Walk Out shopping is available at several Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. and the UK, and offered to third-party retailers.
In these upcoming "smarter" locations, Whole Foods Market expanded its computer vision algorithms to support Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, according to Kumar.
"For example, customers at these stores will be able to shop stations with self-service fresh-squeezed orange juice and mochi ice cream, while still shopping with the Just Walk Out experience and without adjusting any shopping habits," he said. "We also integrated with Whole Foods Market’s checkout and payment processing systems to accommodate customers who want to either shop with Just Walk Out technology or via the store’s self-checkout lanes."
How it works
Just Walk Out technology is made possible by a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning -- similar to what's used in a self-driving car.
At these two Whole Foods Market stores with Just Walk Out shopping, customers will be greeted by a staff member at the store’s entry gates and can then choose if they want to shop using Just Walk Out technology or the self-checkout lanes.
Anyone will be able to shop these stores using self-checkout, but customers who want to skip the checkout line with Just Walk Out can enter in three ways: by scanning the QR code in the Whole Foods Market or Amazon app, hovering their palm using Amazon One or inserting a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account.
Customers who want to use cash, prepaid cards, Whole Foods Market gift cards, EBT, or eWic can use the self-checkout lanes. Once inside, customers will shop like normal and at the end of their trip, they simply scan or insert their entry method again to exit. After customers leave the store, those who use the Just Walk Out experience will receive a digital receipt, which will be available in the Whole Foods Market app.