Amazon Bringing New And Improved Dash Carts to Whole Foods
Retail Dive | July 13, 2022
Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, said the company will add its revamped Dash Cart to a Whole Foods in Westford, Massachusetts, sometime in the next few months before rolling it out to “a few” additional Whole Foods stores and “many” Amazon Fresh stores.
The smart carts, which debuted in 2020 at the first Amazon Fresh store in Woodland Hills, California, automatically recognize products as shoppers place them inside and feature a running total of the items selected as they shop. The carts now appear in around half of the grocery chain’s 35 stores, while the rest of the locations offer Amazon’s Just Walk Out frictionless checkout technology.
By updating the Dash Cart, Amazon is bringing the technology more in line with a traditional shopping cart that shoppers are accustomed to. The latest Dash Cart weighs less than the previous version despite having double the carrying capacity. It features a shelf for delicate items and storage beneath the cart for bulky products. Kumar noted the carts more precisely track a customer’s journey through the store, and can show images of nearby items on the digital screen.
To use the latest Dash Cart, shoppers scan in with a QR code through the Amazon or Whole Foods Market app, then scan items using one of the cameras located near the cart’s handle. The cart’s computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion technology help recognize each item as it’s scanned in or removed from the cart. Once finished, shoppers exit through the Dash Cart lane and their card on file is automatically charged.
Grocers have been carefully testing smart carts as they look for ways to merge digital and physical shopping. The carts are expensive, and their effectiveness at scale has yet to be proven, but they promise a faster checkout experience for shoppers and, perhaps most importantly, can help retailers track their journey through stores while also serving up advertisements to them.