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Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

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Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

Old 04-03-24, 10:59 PM
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Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system




Apparently people complained about being charged for things they didn't buy.

And it was also expensive to maintain


For those who never shopped at these stores, you would check-in with your app and there are cameras all over the store, including the shelves. And the items you pick up and add to your shopping cart would be added to your account.

Once you walk out, it's billed to your Amazon account.


This short video when it launched explains how it worked.




There is an Amazon Fresh store near me and I don't visit it much. But, I did in one instance pick up a drink while I was shopping and was billed twice. I was already home when I realized it, so it was only a few bucks and not worth the hassle to make a stink of it. But, that happened when the store 1st opened.

Last edited by DJariya; 04-03-24 at 11:04 PM.
Old 04-04-24, 08:50 AM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

To me the takeaway from this is that it was a lot of manual work, they had a bunch of workers offshore manning cameras. I guess they hoped that they could use machine learning to get it more automated but it never worked out/was cheap enough I guess.

https://gizmodo.com/amazon-reportedl...res-1851381116
Just Walk Out was first introduced in 2016, presenting Amazonís biggest and boldest innovation in grocery shopping. The technology seemed incredible, but there were some stumbles. It often took hours for customers to receive receipts after leaving the store, largely because offshore cashiers were rewatching videos and assigning items to different customers. The system of scanners and video cameras in each store is also incredibly expensive.

According to The Information, 700 out of 1,000 Just Walk Out sales required human reviewers as of 2022. This widely missed Amazonís internal goals of reaching less than 50 reviews per 1,000 sales. Amazon called this characterization inaccurate, and disputes how many purchases require reviews.
Old 04-04-24, 11:01 AM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

Originally Posted by fujishig
To me the takeaway from this is that it was a lot of manual work, they had a bunch of workers offshore manning cameras. I guess they hoped that they could use machine learning to get it more automated but it never worked out/was cheap enough I guess.
To clarify, the human workers were there to verify and correct mistakes made by the machine learning, and thus, provide reinforcement and training for the ML. But, apparently, even after all that work, it did not get good enough.

The one time I used a store that had it at LAX, it correctly billed me for what we purchased. I scanned in with my credit card, but it was my daughter who picked out what she wanted, and I believe she was holding it as we walked out. I wonder if that transaction required manual review.

Edit: Found this article from Amazon that explains the tech. Does not make any mention of the human workers required.
https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/ret...-walk-out-work

I just noticed in the article that it's just Amazon Fresh that is getting rid of Just Walk Out. Other companies and stores that use it (like the store I visited in LAX, or others mentioned in the Amazon article above) can continue to license it from Amazon. I wonder how they feel about it, now that Amazon Fresh stores themselves have abandoned it.

Last edited by TheBang; 04-04-24 at 11:14 AM.
Old 04-04-24, 12:37 PM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

I’ve used it at the WNBA and NHL games here and not noticed any issues. But I might’ve just missed an additional $5 or whatever charge.
Old 04-04-24, 12:43 PM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

Originally Posted by TheBang
To clarify, the human workers were there to verify and correct mistakes made by the machine learning, and thus, provide reinforcement and training for the ML. But, apparently, even after all that work, it did not get good enough.

The one time I used a store that had it at LAX, it correctly billed me for what we purchased. I scanned in with my credit card, but it was my daughter who picked out what she wanted, and I believe she was holding it as we walked out. I wonder if that transaction required manual review.

Edit: Found this article from Amazon that explains the tech. Does not make any mention of the human workers required.
https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/ret...-walk-out-work

I just noticed in the article that it's just Amazon Fresh that is getting rid of Just Walk Out. Other companies and stores that use it (like the store I visited in LAX, or others mentioned in the Amazon article above) can continue to license it from Amazon. I wonder how they feel about it, now that Amazon Fresh stores themselves have abandoned it.
Yeah, when they first announced it I don't remember them talking about the human workers at all, which is why I was surprised when they mentioned that 70% of the orders had to be double checked.

As far as smaller stores, I'd think the technology is much more accurate when you have a smaller selection and you're not a full fledged grocery store with thousands of items to keep track of.
Old 04-04-24, 01:08 PM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

I recall hearing about how people were hacking this system by putting some kind of spoofer on their cart that made it look like you were paying when you weren't, I wonder if those weren't getting caught properly.
Old 04-04-24, 08:40 PM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

Originally Posted by fujishig
As far as smaller stores, I'd think the technology is much more accurate when you have a smaller selection and you're not a full fledged grocery store with thousands of items to keep track of.
Yeah, it sounds like it probably works really well for sports stadium vendors, as mentioned above, and is really beneficial for that situation ("grab and go" greatly reducing checkout congestion).

Originally Posted by milo bloom
I recall hearing about how people were hacking this system by putting some kind of spoofer on their cart that made it look like you were paying when you weren't, I wonder if those weren't getting caught properly.
I think you're confusing Just Walk Out with self-checkout.
Old 04-04-24, 08:41 PM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

I've yet to go one of these. It's overpriced, especially when I have a Super King and Vons nearby, along with Trader Joes, etc.
Old 04-04-24, 11:26 PM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

I see Amazon Fresh stores all over the place and rarely see them busy unlike just about every other grocery store. They've also placed them in unexpected venues. I guess they try avoiding competing directly against traditional grocery chains.
Old 04-05-24, 09:44 AM
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Re: Amazon Fresh stores abandon cashier-less, walk out system

Originally Posted by TheBang

I think you're confusing Just Walk Out with self-checkout.
I guess I was thinking they were one and the same...

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
I see Amazon Fresh stores all over the place and rarely see them busy unlike just about every other grocery store. They've also placed them in unexpected venues. I guess they try avoiding competing directly against traditional grocery chains.
They put in one near us and when we go in to return Amazon orders, the stores are always fully staffed but there's usually only a couple actual customers.

But what I do notice far more often is the Amazon employees putting together the delivery shipments, so that option seems to be kinda popular.

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