The Early Insights Coming Out of Amazon Go

Amazon has found that people are wary of exiting a store without some sort of payment friction.

SEATTLE — Amazon Go, Amazon's tech-forward convenience store concept, has been up and running in Seattle for only three months, but already executives are noticing some shopper trends.

The most hyped aspect of the Amazon Go store has been its "Just Walk Out" technology, which enables customers to grab items off the shelves and head out the door without checking out with a cashier, or otherwise.

As it turns out, people are wary of exiting a store without some sort of payment friction. This surprised Amazon Go Vice President Gianna Puerini, according to The Associated Press

"What we didn't necessarily expect was 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 at Shoptalk, a retail industry event that runs through March 21 in Las Vegas.

While customers are still getting accustomed to the idea of just walking out of the store, they have embraced the foodservice offerings at Amazon Go. According to Puerini, the most popular grab-and-go item is the store's chicken sandwich. Also popular are its meal kits and fresh fruit. 

Further insights, gleaned through the Amazon Go app that allows for real-time customer feedback, revealed that vegans didn't like the cheese being mixed into salads. Amazon Go has already put that information into action, now offering the cheese on the side, Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology of Amazon Go and Amazon Books, said at ShopTalk. 

Last year, Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market for $13 billion. As of yet, rolling out the "Just Walk Out" technology at the upscale grocery chain is not one of Amazon's top priorities. "The work we do with [Whole Foods] is focused on making natural and organic food available to more people," Puerini said.

What's more likely is that Amazon soon will announce plans for new Amazon Go stores. On that front, Puerini said, "Stay tuned."