Amazon is moving physical retail tech teams to the cloud division, looking to accelerate third-party adoption – GeekWire
Amazon is moving its physical store technical teams from its consumer division to its Amazon Web Services cloud division, in a bid to further expand the use of the company’s in-store technologies by other retailers.
Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon, will transition to AWS with executives and teams responsible for Just Walk Out cashierless payment technology, Amazon Dash Cart and the service of Amazon One palm recognition and payment, among other technologies, according to an internal email.
News site Insider first reported the changes earlier today, and GeekWire has independently confirmed them.
Amazon is increasingly looking to license these retail technologies to others after they debut in the company’s own stores, including convenience stores and Amazon Go grocery stores.
AWS, under divisional CEO Adam Selipsky, is the tech giant’s primary avenue for bringing technology to other companies. The goal is to “position our suite of payment technologies, products and services for growth beyond our stores,” Tony Hoggett, Amazon’s senior vice president of physical stores, wrote in the e -mail.
Its best-known in-store technology, Just Walk Out, registers shoppers as they enter a store, using cameras and sensors to detect when they pick up items, allowing the system to reload them after they leave the store, without going through a checkout, using payment information stored in advance.
Earlier this month, in a post on the AWS for Industries blog, Amazon said Just Walk Out is available at more than a dozen third-party stores in addition to more than 50 Amazon stores.
“These technologies have helped differentiate our physical store offerings, and the success of these products and services is driving increased interest from [third-party] customers,” Hoggett wrote. “Our teams will continue to work closely together as this is an ongoing priority across our owner stores.”
It’s part of a wider set of changes to Amazon’s brick-and-mortar store division after Hoggett joined the Seattle-based company last year from Tesco, the British supermarket chain.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced it would be closing all of its Amazon 4-Star, Books and Pop Up stores, to focus more on its Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and Amazon Go grocery and convenience stores, as well as its new Amazon Style clothing. , in addition to underlying technologies like Amazon One and Just Walk Out.
Kumar, in an interview with GeekWire at Amazon’s re:MARS conference in June, said the company gleaned new insights into third-party implementations of its in-store technologies, such as the need to let shoppers in and logging into a store using a credit card, not just an app, which Amazon later adopted as well.
At the same time, Kumar said, Amazon remains committed to first-party physical stores as a business. He rejected the idea that company stores could simply become a testing ground for technologies to be licensed to others.
“When we walk into a particular business, we can try a lot of different things, but the idea is that if the customers like it, if we see the good reviews…and the right kinds of behaviors, then we double down and let’s build more,” he said at the time.
Amazon’s physical stores were created in recognition that the “overwhelming majority” of sales will continue to occur in physical stores in certain segments, including groceries and clothing, Kumar said.
Amazon announced last week that it was rolling out the Amazon One palm recognition system to more than 65 of its Whole Foods Market stores in California, following its launch in Seattle, Austin and select Whole Foods stores in New York and LA. .
Despite Amazon’s assurances of privacy and options for using other payment methods, Amazon One has faced concerns from some users and groups. One of Amazon’s early partners, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, has canceled plans to use the palm recognition and payment system at the popular concert venue.
According to the memo, other physical retail executives from Amazon migrating to AWS are Sanjay Dash, vice president of technology for physical stores; Jennifer Maul, Managing Director of Just Walk Out Technology; Barry Johnson, vice president, physical store technology, Gerard Medioni, another vice president.