Amazon starts selling cashierless checkout technology to other retailers

Key Points
  • Amazon said Monday it will sell its cashierless checkout technology to retailers. 
  • The cashierless technology powers Amazon Go stores, which allow shoppers to enter a store by scanning the Go app and exit without needing to stand in a checkout line. Cameras and sensors track what items they choose and charge them when they leave. 
After more than a year in beta, Amazon opened their cashier-less grocery store to the public
Stephen Brashear | Getty Images

Amazon said Monday it will begin selling the cashierless checkout technology that powers its Go stores to other retailers. 

The "Just Walk Out" technology enables shoppers to "take what they want and leave" without the need to stop and stand in a checkout line. Cameras and other sensors through the store monitor which items shoppers take with them and charge them automatically when they leave. 

Amazon told CNBC it has already inked several deals with retailers interested in bringing the cashierless technology to their stores. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on which companies plan to use the technology or how much Amazon is charging them to use it. 

But, in September 2019, CNBC reported that Amazon was in talks with retailers including OTG's CIBO Express stores in airports and Cineworld's Regal theaters to launch its cashierless technology in some locations. Another source said Amazon was looking to offer the technology to concession stands in baseball stadiums.

Amazon said it takes a few weeks for it to install the cashierless technology in retailers' stores, depending on whether it's being implemented in a new or existing store. For existing stores, Amazon said it will "work with retailer to install the technology while minimizing impact on current operations." 

Unlike at Amazon Go stores, where users scan the Go app on a turnstile when they enter, shoppers scan their credit card on the turnstile at a store with the Just Walk Out technology. If shoppers need a receipt, they can visit a kiosk at the store and enter their email address, Amazon said. A receipt will be automatically sent to their email address the next time they visit any store with the cashierless technology.

Amazon can tailor marketing and gain valuable insights into customer purchasing habits by tracking activity at its Go stores. However, Amazon said it won't collect any other user data beyond a shopper's email in order to send receipts. "Shoppers can think of this as similar to typical security camera footage," Amazon added. 

The move comes as Amazon continues to build out its network of 25 Go stores across the country. Last month, Amazon launched its first, full-size, cashierless supermarket, called Go Grocery, not far from its Seattle headquarters. CNBC previously reported Amazon is considering bringing the technology to airport shops and movie theaters. 

Amazon said its Go stores will begin accepting cash last year after the company came under fire for discriminating against the unbanked. Amazon told CNBC it will be up to retailers to decide whether they want to accept cash at stores that license the company's Just Walk Out technology. Some states, like New Jersey, have new laws banning stores that don't accept cash.

Amazon has signaled the growing importance of its Go stores. In the company's 2018 letter to shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos said they are a prime example of Amazon's effort to "delight" customers, calling checkout lines "the worst thing about physical retail."

Here's a look inside Amazon's first full-size grocery store
Here's a look inside Amazon's first full-size grocery store