What Amazon's New Cart Technology Means For Whole Foods

This has proven to be a big year for many and it's only halfway over. Perhaps nobody's had as big of a year during 2022 as Amazon. Earlier this month, the company announced a partnership with Grubhub, giving Prime members a free one-year subscription to the food delivery service with $0 delivery fees. On June 12-13, deals for the company's retail holiday, Prime Day, drew an average order of $53.14 per household, via a press release; up from an average of $47.14 per order on Prime Day 2021. This week, the world's largest retailer (per Forbes) also just opened its first Amazon Fresh store in New York, via Newsday

Admittedly, it hasn't all been victories. Last October, Amazon fans were miffed when the online retailer revoked free grocery delivery from Whole Foods as a perk for Prime members. But, a recent announcement from the company might turn grocery shoppers' heads. "Dash Carts" were first introduced in Amazon Fresh grocery store locations in September 2020, via Food & Wine. These high-tech carts, it states, are fixed with a computer screen that tracks what customers buy, and even leads them to sales displays within the store. Now, for the first time, Dash Carts are coming to select Whole Foods locations across the country, and they're coming outfitted with an array of new upgrades.

The new DashCarts do everything but push themselves

Amazon is rolling out the new carts starting with the Whole Foods Market in Westford, Massachusetts, per TechCrunch, with plans to expand thereafter. The updated Dash Carts, the site states, boast twice the carrying capacity of the former model and less weight. Customers using the Dash Cart can also skip the checkout line by scanning products directly to the shopping cart's screen with even being able to weigh produce in it. With an extended battery life, the new high-tech carts will be available to customers all day long.

Plus, its new all-weather model enables customers to truck the Dash Cart through snowy parking lots and carry groceries right to their cars. Dilip Kumar, Amazon's vice president of physical retail and technology, says the company literally "baked the [carts] in an oven and froze test carts in a giant freezer to ensure they would survive harsh weather conditions," and "dropped heavy weights into test carts' baskets more than 100,000 times," per FOX Business.

Amazon's announcement comes at an opportune moment with in-store grocery shopping on the rise. According to a 2022 survey by Morning Consult, 85% of consumers reported felt safe returning to grocery stores by the end of May. With the introduction of the updated Dash Carts, in-person grocery shopping might be more efficient than ever.