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Amazon Says Go Stores An Early Hit With Customers

It looks like consumers who try Amazon Go like it enough to keep coming back, particularly if the cashier-free shops are in proximity to where they live or work.

“The ones who work very close, like in the building up above, will come down even just to grab a drink because it’s so fast and easy,” said Amazon Go Vice President Gianna Puerini according to Reuters, at the ShopTalk eCommerce conference in Las Vegas, offering a rare glimpse into a very new retail format for the commerce giant.

Two months after opening its doors to the public, Amazon Go is looking closely at metrics, like shopping frequency and sales, as it tries to figure out the net for the high-tech, small-format stores. Puerini said store associates spend the vast majority of their time restocking shelves — further proof that the store is busy.

Beyond the expected in-house hype care of Amazon, it seems the Go experience is also winning over slightly more discerning judges.

Research-focused venture capital firm, Loup Ventures, wrote of Amazon Go last month, “Our experience was flawless, leaving us increasingly confident that Amazon is best-positioned to own the operating system of automated retail. Eventually, we expect Amazon to make this technology available to other retailers.”

Where the brand will expand the format next is unknown — as are what the plans for expansion will even look like. Amazon stated that Whole Foods is not slated for any addition of the grab-and-go tech that animates the Amazon Go shopping experience. However, Amazon confirmed that it’s working to update the technology that powers the platform.

“If you show a child a can of Coke, you have to show it to them maybe once or twice, and it’s very easy for them to be able to recognize it,” said Vice President Technology, Amazon Go and Amazon Books Dilip Kumar. “Not so much with computers.”

Plus, customers also have to be trained to use the tech, as waiting in a line is a pretty ingrained habit.

“What we didn’t necessarily expect is how many people would stop at the end, on their first trip or two, and ask, ‘Is it really OK if I just leave?’” Puerini said.

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