Amazon has run up against a roadblock in its play to revolutionize brick-and-mortar grocery shopping.
The online retail giant has reportedly delayed the public opening of Amazon Go due to technical difficulties with its “Just Walk Out” system.
During employee beta testing that began in December of last year, Amazon’s system for monitoring and tracking customer item selection reportedly ran into trouble keeping tabs on items once they had been moved from their shelf when more than 20 people were in the store at one time, said The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon has yet to comment on the delay or give an update on when Amazon Go will be up and running to the public.
Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology — once it works — will mean no lines and no waiting for grocery shoppers. A virtual shopping cart processes what customers take from Amazon Go shelves and automatically adds it to their purchase list, charging their Amazon account upon their exit.
The first Amazon Go location was slated to open to the public in Seattle in early 2017. Though the 2,000+ grocery store ambition turned out to be false, according to the company, the public opening of Amazon Go will likely be the ‘shot heard round the world’ for retail grocers — when it eventually happens.
As of now, it looks like shoppers will have to wait a bit longer and that grocers will have a bit more time to prepare for the “Amazon Effect” to to kick in for their market segment.
For customers who are gunning for a brick-and-mortar Amazon experience, the retail giant has had more success with its bookstores.
Earlier this month, Amazon opened its tenth bookstore operation in Seattle, with plans for at least five more in the next year. While the “Just Walk Out” technology would likely have fit well in an Amazon bookstore, shoppers will have to wait for Amazon Go to sort out its technical issues before that happens.