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10/20/2022
RL Pro Exclusive

Is Just Walk Out Tech Really Frictionless?

Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader Pro
Elizabeth Christenson profile picture

Pro Tip: Consumers are always looking to retailers to remove barriers while shopping and make life easier, which includes the in-store experience. Just Walk Out (JWO) technology creates a frictionless environment that cuts down on time in-store and allows for better browsing, once consumers get over the mental gymnastics of walking out without the traditional checkout experience. Retailers beyond grocery and convenience should consider how cashierless checkout can be adopted across sectors to keep pace with consumer expectations.

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Just Walk Out
Amazon Go in Seattle

Removing friction from the shopping experience — and specifically at checkout — has been a fundamental pillar in evolving physical retail in recent years. Enter the much-talked-about Just Walk Out (JWO) technology from Amazon, which combines computer vision, sensor fusion and machine-learning algorithms to offer consumers a purportedly seamless, cashierless shopping experience. In 2020, Amazon began selling its JWO technology platform to other retailers, and, in turn, the JWO experience is growing beyond Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods locations into retailers in airports along with sports and entertainment arenas. 

Unlike the JWO experience at Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh locations (where consumers identify themselves by scanning an app), the licensed version has consumers insert a credit card into a gated turnstile.

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