Amazon Tests Grocery Pickup Service in Seattle

AmazonFresh Pickup is now available in the Seattle SODO and Ballard areas and will totally revolutionize your shopping experience. Amazon has ambitious plans for a variety of physical store spaces - including its grab what you want and 'just walk out' store model.

Amazon has been exploring a range of different ways to rethink grocery shopping, and this looks like another interesting experiment blending traditional shopping with its own ecommerce model.

But when they open to the general public, they're to be exclusively for members of Amazon's $99-a-year Prime loyalty program. It has launched a new service in beta today called AmazonFresh Pickup.

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A report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that Amazon has hit a few snags on the way to opening its first cashierless store. It also has a grocery store in Seattle, where customers can just walk, pick up the products and walk out, thanks to the company's Amazon Go service.

Now only open to employees of the company, the Seattle-based 1,800 foot test store was anticipated to open to the public in early 2017, but technical issues mean the technology that tracks shoppers can only handle up to 20 people at any time.

But apparently the technology has trouble following shoppers when there are more than 20 people in the store at one time, according to anonymous sources cited by the newspaper.

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Given Amazon has already opened its own book shops in several cities across the USA, this doesn't seem like such a far off reality.

It's tempting to say that the delay is a stark reminder for Amazon of the challenges it will face expanding its expertise in online retail to physical retail. And most recently, Amazon realized that there is big money to be made in the grocery business. Its grocery stores may follow a "click and collect" trend used by others in the industry, in which customers shop online but pick up their packaged orders in person.

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