July 17, 2020

Amazon Dash Cart's checkout-free grocery shopping: Let's wait to see what customers say

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Amazon Dash Cart's checkout-free grocery shopping: Let's wait to see what customers say

The introduction of Amazon’s futuristic-looking Dash Cart gives its new grocery stores a tool that bridges the self-service model and digital world, and – like its name, Dash–  it allows shoppers to execute speedier in-store shopping trips.

While some folks are critical of the cart's look, and/or call the cart silly and un-Amazon, our thinking is a little different. The ultimate jury will be shoppers, who will give it either a thumbs up or thumbs down.

The "scan and bag" concept has been around for at least 15 years, and in that time, we have learned some lessons that apply to applications like Dash Cart that allow the customer the opportunity to skip the traditional checkout in grocery.


Here are three key insights to consider when evaluating the Dash Cart and why it may prove to be a powerful tool in how Amazon moves quickly to expand into profitable grocery operations.

1. Giving shoppers an option is not about eliminating checkouts completely.

Some customers want to use the traditional checkout because they either enjoy the social exchange with the employee or are worried about the jobs/roles of cashiers.

2. For customers who like the option, the benefits are compelling and often a source of competitive advantage for the retailer.

These customers like it not just because it eliminates any possible checkout delay, but also because it provides a greater sense of control while shopping, such as, “Did I get the special price? Was the second item in the BOGO free? I determine how long I’m in the store. My bags are packed the way I want, etc.”

In fact, we have known customers who chose to shop a more distant store because it offered a scan & go option that allowed them to take advantage of these benefits vs the traditional experience.

3. store operators have resisted these types of checkout technologies for fear of increased shrink.

For some "scan and bag"systems, increased shrink is a real risk. This risk, however, diminishes when the shopper knows they are accountable, and that’s definitely a feature of DashCart.


It will be revealing to see how shoppers react to Dash Cart. It will likely not be perfect, but it certainly moves the needle toward what next-generation POS might look like in grocery.

We look forward to getting a chance to test drive/shop one sometime soon.