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The next evolution of the Dash Cart: New features and expansion to first Whole Foods Market Store

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In September 2020, Amazon’s physical retail team introduced the Amazon Dash Cart—a smart shopping cart that helps make grocery trips quicker by skipping the checkout line. We’ve since made the Dash Cart available for use at many Amazon Fresh stores across the U.S., listened to shopper feedback on the cart and their ideas for the future, and watched as customers excitedly told us how they love the ease of use, convenience, and time saved by using the Amazon Dash Cart.

Today we’re excited to announce a new version of the Dash Cart—offering new features to make shopping with the Dash Cart even easier and more convenient. We’ve built the updated version of the Dash Cart to continue to offer the features people love most, like real-time receipts and the ability to weigh produce directly in the cart’s basket, alongside new conveniences and behind-the-scenes technology advancements that further improve the Dash Cart shopping experience.

An image of the Amazon Dash cart against a green background.

Features of the new version of the Dash Cart include:

  • The new carts weigh less than the original version but have more than double the capacity of the previous carts, holding four grocery bags instead of two
  • Carts now include a delicates shelf as well as a lower shelf for oversized items
  • The new carts are weather resistant so they can go all the way to the car for added convenience
  • The Dash Cart screen will now display images of fresh items nearby, like produce, for shoppers to choose from, or shoppers can type in the item name (“tomato,” for example) instead of a four-digit PLU code
  • We’ve evolved the carts’ ability to more precisely determine where the cart is in the store to better show nearby products and deals
  • The carts feature an extended all-day battery life that requires less charging, making them even more readily available for customers

These updates are the result of customer feedback, improved computer vision and sensor fusion technology, and backend innovation and testing. For example, we doubled the capacity of the cart while maintaining the ability to quickly measure produce weight for certified accuracy and price. Consider stepping onto a scale, which usually takes a few moments to stabilize and produce a final weight. The Dash Cart stabilizes nearly instantly—we’ve created algorithms that can determine signal from noise, like the cart moving through the store (noise), so it can calculate weight (signal) without asking shoppers to stop the cart.

Because we expanded the size of the cart, we knew shoppers would want to take the carts all the way to their cars, which meant the carts would have to be able to withstand summer heat and winter cold. To test durability, we baked the technology in an oven and froze test carts in a giant freezer to ensure they would survive harsh weather conditions. We also dropped heavy weights into test carts’ baskets more than 100,000 times to ensure they would remain usable after impact—needless to say, we feel confident the Dash Cart is durable.

Our goal has always been to provide helpful shopping solutions—like the Dash Cart—to customers where they’ll find them most useful. With that, I’m happy to share that for the first time, the Dash Cart—specifically the new version—will be available for use at the Whole Foods Market store in Westford, Massachusetts in the coming months, followed by a few additional Whole Foods Market stores and many Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S.

“As many of our customers return to their in-store grocery shopping routines, it’s exciting to introduce new and unique ways for them to shop our stores,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer for Whole Foods Market. “We’re thrilled that the newest version of Dash Cart will debut in our Westford store and can’t wait to hear the feedback from our customers there.”

To use the new version of the Dash Cart,shoppers log in through a QR code in the Amazon or Whole Foods Market app, which allows them to easily sign in and begin using the cart. From there, shoppers place their bags (if using them) in the cart and start shopping, scanning their items using one of the cameras near the handlebar of the Dash Cart. The cart uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to help verify each item placed in—and removed from—the cart. The Dash Cart’s screen shows a real-time receipt of all items in the cart, and when shoppers are ready to check out, they simply exit the store through the Amazon Dash Cart lane and their payment is processed using the credit card associated with their Amazon account. Shoppers will receive an emailed receipt shortly after leaving the store.

The Dash Cart is one of the ways we’re helping customers save time during grocery shopping trips, and the recent enhancements include the features shoppers said they wanted most, giving them another option to reduce friction from grocery shopping trips of all sizes. Our goal with the Dash Cart has always been to make in-store shopping more convenient by eliminating the need to stand in checkout lines or unload and reload items at self-checkout stations, and we hope shoppers enjoy these updates as much as we think they will.

FAQs

  • Why did you make these changes to the Dash Cart?

    As with everything we do at Amazon, we make changes to improve upon the customer experience. In this case, we listened to shopper feedback and found they often wanted to use a larger version of the cart for their weekly grocery shopping trips. The Dash Carts have been popular since we first introduced them at our Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S., helping to make shopping trips easier and faster, and we’re excited to continue to innovate so more shoppers can enjoy the Dash Cart.

  • Why did you change the Dash Cart from holding two bags to four?

    We listened to shopper feedback, and wanted to reduce friction from their weekly grocery shopping trips. Dash Carts can still be used for smaller shopping trips of course, but now customers also have the option to use Dash Carts to save time on larger shopping trips too.

  • Why didn’t you let customers bring the Dash Cart to the parking lot before, but you do now?

    The first version of the Amazon Dash Cart held two bags and was meant for quick grocery shopping trips. The new version of the Amazon Dash Cart can hold four bags, lending itself to larger grocery shopping trips. Because of this change, we knew it would be important for shoppers to be able to take the Dash Cart all the way to their car, and have now designed and weather-proofed the carts accordingly.

  • Do I need an Amazon account or Prime account to use Dash Carts at Whole Foods Market stores?

    You need an Amazon or Whole Foods Market account and mobile app to log in to use Dash Carts. You do not need a Prime account.

  • Where can I use the new Dash Cart?

    The new version of the Dash Cart will be available at the Whole Foods Market store in Westford, Massachusetts in the coming months, followed by a few additional Whole Foods Market stores and many Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S.

  • Will there be fewer Team Members in Whole Foods Market stores that have Dash Carts?

    No. Customers will still have the option to use existing store carts and checkout lanes staffed by Whole Foods Market Team Members. We will also have Team Members in these stores facilitating the customer experience, including helping customers use the Dash Cart.

  • Will Dash Carts come to all Whole Food Market stores?

    We can’t speculate on the future, but we are excited to see how Whole Foods Market customers like the convenience of Dash Carts in these stores.

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