Amazon Launches Smart Shopping Carts

Grocery shoppers select items, bag them and walk out as the company looks to expand in Philadelphia.

July 20, 2020

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.—Soon, Amazon’s “Dash Carts” will be available to shoppers at the retailer’s Woodland Hills, Calif., grocery store, slated to open later this year, CNBC reports. The smart carts let customers skip the checkout line as sensors, cameras and a smart display tracks the cart’s contents.

Dash Carts have similar technology as that in use in Amazon Go convenience stores, which allow customers to pick up items and walk out without stopping at a checkout counter. For Dash Cart, customers must have an Amazon account and smartphone. When entering the grocery store, customers scan a QR code in the Amazon app to sign into the cart’s technology. To pay, shoppers leave through a Dash Cart lane to complete their transaction.

Dash Carts are designed for small- and mid-size shopping trips with one or two bags’ worth of groceries. The Woodland Hills location will be one of the new grocery stores Amazon will build this year.

The grocery store presented more challenges to automated checkout, mostly because of the sheer number of products. “You need to be able to add that and keep track of all of that and it just increases the complexity,” said Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology. “Plus, the weighing component of it also has to be very robust to be able to allow for a very accurate receipt experience for a customer.”

Meanwhile, Amazon looks ready to build new supermarkets in and around Philadelphia, Progressive Grocer reports. The company is considering three locations for its new grocery store concept. The sites—in Bucks County and Center City—would have operating grocery stores by the end of 2020.