April 17, 2024

Grand Depart

Experienced In Technology

Amazon debuts new RFID capability for Just Walk Out tech

6 min read
Amazon debuts new RFID capability for Just Walk Out tech

At Amazon, we love innovating on behalf of our customers and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. From the day we opened our first Just Walk Out technology store in 2018, shoppers told us how magical they find checkout-free shopping.

Now, the technology is a hit in entertainment venues, airports, universities, grocery and convenience stores, and stadiums across the U.S., UK, and Australia. Customers love being able to grab what they need and get on their way without having to wait in line, and store owners and retail operators have embraced the cost-efficiency and revenue-driving benefits of Just Walk Out technology. Just Walk Out technology uses cameras, shelf sensors, sensor fusion, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, like computer vision and generative AI to enable retailers to sell a wide range of products, such as food, beverages, groceries, home goods, and more.

At computer vision-based checkout-free stores, products are arranged on shelves or tables so the system can see which items are being taken. This means products like clothing need to be packaged in bags or boxes—but that’s not always the way people shop for soft goods. Customers want to see clothing on hangers, pick them up, feel the fabric, try them on, and may even return the items to other shelves or locations in the store. To address the unique nature of shopping for softlines, I’m happy to announce a new offering that combines the power of Just Walk Out technology and RFID.

A photo of customers shopping at a store in Lumen Field that uses Just Walk Out technology.

RFID technology has been around for decades and is typically used by stores to track and manage inventory. Given its prevalence in retail supply chains, we decided to figure out a way RFID could benefit customers in a checkout-free environment. And what we came up with is a new type of Just Walk Out technology store where customers can grab clothes, hats, shoes, and more—and simply walk out of the store through an exit gate (even while wearing their purchases) by tapping their credit or debit card, or hovering their palm over an Amazon One palm recognition device. No more checkout lines for clothes!

This new RFID capability for Just Walk Out technology is a first-of-its-kind for checkout-free tech. It is in addition to our computer vision-based offering, and will enable retailers to provide an expanded selection of clothing, apparel, and other softlines merchandise. RFID-enabled stores are cost-effective and fast to deploy, and deliver the same frictionless shopping experience customers have come to expect at Just Walk Out technology stores.

Customers love RFID-enabled Just Walk Out technology stores

We first piloted Just Walk Out technology with RFID at Climate Pledge Arena, in Seattle, Washington, for a few games at the end of Seattle Kraken’s ice hockey season earlier this year.

“At Climate Pledge Arena, we’re continuously looking to innovate and improve the in-arena experience for our fans,” said Todd Humphrey, senior vice president of digital innovation and fan experience for NHL’s Seattle Kraken. “Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology with RFID allows for a fast and easy way for our fans to grab their favorite Kraken gear and get back to the game—and our fans loved the experience.”

A photo of a customer walking out of a Kraken Team Store, that uses Just Walk Out technology.

Validated by positive feedback from the Kraken fans and arena officials, we have now launched the technology at Lumen Field, home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. During the 2023-24 NFL season, fans can grab their Seahawks gear at the new Seahawks Pro Shop Outlet located in the northwest corner of the stadium’s field level.

“Delivering a great fan experience is central to everything we do here at Lumen Field, and our customers love the convenience of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology,” said Zach Hensley, Seahawks vice president of operations and general manager of Lumen Field. “Eight of our concessions locations are already using Just Walk Out technology and seeing great results. Now, we are excited to be the first NFL stadium with an RFID-enabled Just Walk Out technology store so fans can grab their favorite hats, jerseys, and more, and simply walk out. We are seeing great traction for this new store, and our fans are enjoying the experience.”

Last September, Lumen Field installed its first Just Walk Out technology store, District Market, on the stadium’s upper concourse. During the 2022 season, the store saw a 60{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} increase in customer throughput, and the total transactions per game doubled compared to the traditional concession stand that previously stood in the same location. By the end of the season in early 2023, the team saw transactions per game in that location increase 85{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} and total sales per game increase 112{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823}. Following the success of the launch, Lumen Field has added eight more Just Walk Out technology stores in the arena (including the new RFID store), making Lumen Field the venue with the most Just Walk Out technology locations anywhere in the world.

How RFID-enabled Just Walk Out technology works

Every item for sale in the store has a unique RFID tag, which looks similar to a standard apparel tag. Customers simply enter the store, take what they like, and leave through the exit gate by using their credit or debit card, or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device. When they pass through the exit gate, the RFID tags in their clothing and other apparel are read by RFID readers, and the credit card they use to exit (or the payment information linked to their Amazon One profile) will be charged. Shortly after exiting the store, customers will be able to access their receipt at https://justwalkout.com/receipts.

To enable this new capability for Just Walk Out technology, we worked with Avery Dennison, a global leader in RFID sensor and digital identification solutions for the retail industry. Avery Dennison works with leading global retailers and brands to optimize their omnichannel supply chain, improve store efficiency, and enhance the customer experience.

“Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology is an exciting example of how RFID technology is disrupting traditional retail models,” said Bill Toney, vice president of Global RFID and Digital Market Development at Avery Dennison. “Avery Dennison has been working closely with Amazon from the beginning of this initiative to enable the use of high-quality, advanced RFID sensor technology to establish a fast and reliable automated checkout process. No queues or scanning products ultimately means an improved, differentiated, and frictionless customer shopping experience.”

Where to find Just Walk Out technology stores

Currently, there are more than 70 Amazon-owned stores, and more than 85 third-party retailers with Just Walk Out technology located across the U.S., UK, and Australia, with new locations launching every month. These third-party stores include:

  • Travel retailers, like Hudson, OHM, and Paradies, at U.S. airports, including Chicago (Midway and O’Hare), Charleston, Charlotte, Dallas, New York (LaGuardia), Kansas City, Los Angeles (LAX), Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. (Dulles), and more.
  • Sports stadiums, entertainment venues, and conference centers including Climate Pledge Arena, Lumen Field, T-Mobile Park (Seattle), Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul, Minnesota), TQL Stadium (Cincinnati), TD Garden (Boston), Marvel Stadium (Melbourne, Australia), UBS Arena (New York), Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee), Javits Center (New York), Kia Forum (Inglewood, California), United Center (Chicago), Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, North Carolina), Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles), and NASCAR Raceway (Phoenix), EverBank Stadium (Jacksonville, Florida), Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles), and others.
  • Theme parks, like Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey).
  • Convenience stores, like BaxterStorey (London), Pronto Pantry (Chicago), and QuikTrip (Tulsa, Oklahoma).
  • College campuses, like the University of Dayton, Ohio; Marymount University, Virginia; Texas A&M; Marywood University, Lafayette College, and University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Loyola University, Maryland; California State University, and more.

Just Walk Out technology is all about delivering convenience to shoppers, and helping store owners and retail operators increase revenue with cost-optimized technology. We look forward to rolling out both RFID and computer vision-based Just Walk Out technology to more locations, and delivering the future of convenience.

Learn more about Just Walk Out technology.

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