How does Amazon Go work? (How to pay, it has employees, shoplifting + more)

Given Amazon’s commitment to convenience, it’s no surprise that the company has expanded into quick-service stores.

Because of this, you might be wondering how Amazon Go works. I had the same thought about these new convenience stores, so I dug deep to learn everything there is to know about Amazon Go and how it works!

How will Amazon Go work in 2022?

Amazon Go is a chain of automated convenience stores where customers can buy groceries without a cashier or self-checkout. Additionally, Amazon Go stores use AI, sensors and cameras to track when a product has been removed from a shelf. Once a customer takes the product away, their Amazon account will be charged.

If you want to learn more about Amazon Go, including what you can buy, where it’s located, and if it’s safe, check out our full guide!

What can you get on Amazon Go?

Amazon Go is the newest convenience store offering hot and cold meals, snacks, coffee and alcohol. Some locations have Amazon Lockers for picking up orders and also a drop off point for Amazon returns!

Designed as a neighborhood grocery store, Amazon Go offers hot breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, wraps, bottled beverages, fountain drinks, and local baked goods. There is also fresh coffee, espresso, wine and beer.

The great thing about shopping here is that Amazon Go groceries are priced competitively, much like you would spend at a traditional gas station or supermarket.

Where is Amazon?

There are currently 32 Amazon Go locations in the US and UK. The first store opened in Seattle, Washington in January 2018, and now the city has a total of seven Amazon Go stores.

Nationwide in the Midwest, Chicago’s first store opened in September 2018, and it now has seven locations there as well.

Thanks to continued expansion, you’ll also find five Amazon Go locations in San Francisco, California, eight in New York City, and five across the pond in London.

The UK stores will be branded as Amazon Fresh but offer the same great contactless shopping that Amazon Go is known for.

In addition to the Amazon Go convenience store, Seattle also has Amazon Go grocery stores, which are larger stores with a wider product selection of 5,000 items such as fresh produce and baked goods.

However, Amazon Go Grocery was recently rebranded to Amazon Fresh for better brand recognition, so all Amazon Go locations will have the same convenience store setup going forward.

How do I pay on Amazon Go?

Paying for your snacks and groceries is easy with Amazon Go as the retailer relies on its innovative Just Walk Out technology.

Unlike regular stores that you can just walk into, entering an Amazon Go requires the Amazon Shopping app, which is free and works on both iPhone and Android.

After downloading the app from the Amazon, Apple or Google Play app store, simply scan it to enter by tapping the in-store code option in your Amazon app.

Simply scan the QR code displayed in the app to get through the gate and you can then shop like you would in a regular store, no phone required.

Your entry and entire purchase are linked to your Amazon account, so all you have to do is pick up the groceries you want and you’re good to go.

There are no queues or tills as everything is digitally tracked. Amazon charges your account based on the items you’ve pulled from the shelves and you’ll receive a receipt in your account and via email after your visit.

Can you use Amazon One for Amazon Go?

Amazon One is a new biometric payment system from Amazon that identifies people based on their palm prints.

You can use Amazon One in Amazon Go convenience stores as well as other official Amazon stores such as Amazon Books or Whole Foods Market.

With Amazon One, simply wave your palm over the reader to enter, identify, and pay.

If you want to enjoy the convenience of this contactless identity service when shopping on Amazon Go, you can sign up at

It’s a simple sign-up process that just involves scanning your palm, providing your credit card/merchant membership number and entering your mobile number.

Once you’ve signed up for Amazon One, you can immediately use it to enter Amazon Go and other Amazon stores.

In addition to Amazon One or a QR code, you can also use a credit card to enter Amazon Go stores as long as it is linked to your Amazon account.

Does Amazon Go have employees?

Although Amazon Go doesn’t have a traditional checkout system, you’ll still see a few employees in store if you need help with anything.

Amazon strives to provide a seamless shopping experience that’s super-fast and convenient, but still relies on top retail professionals to oversee its Amazon Go stores.

Amazon Go associates’ primary responsibilities include inventory workflow to receive shipments and keep shelves stocked, open/close the store daily, and interact with customers as needed.

Amazon Go employees receive the same benefits as Amazon warehouse workers or delivery drivers, with a starting salary of at least $15.

Because these employees are forward-thinking and interact with customers every day, Amazon holds them to high performance standards.

How does Amazon Go prevent shoplifting?

Amazon Go prevents shoplifting by using innovative technology to monitor who has access.

Every shopper has to scan through the gate to get into the store, and there are cameras and tracking devices to stop people sneaking in, not to mention the Amazon Go staff keeping an eye on things.

For shoppers bringing family or friends to the store, the QR code must be scanned in store for each person at the gate as well as for the main account holder.

When participating via Amazon One or an Amazon linked credit card, a single scan works for the entire group.

Because everyone needs to be scanned to enter the store, all items in shoppers’ virtual shopping carts are tracked.

This essentially eliminates shoplifting as each item taken off the route is linked to a virtual shopping cart and paid for when the account is debited.

While Amazon Go effectively prevents shoplifting through its highly technological virtual tracking system, it balances this technology with customer satisfaction by ensuring returned items are removed from the shopping cart.

This means you can change your mind about a bag of chips or a candy bar and as long as you put them back before exiting the store you will not be charged for those items as they will be removed from your shopping cart.

Can I make returns on Amazon Go?

Another thing Amazon Go is good for is returns. Most Amazon Go locations will accept new, unopened items shipped from Amazon within 30 days of delivery in accordance with Amazon’s return policy.

If there’s an Amazon Go store in your city, simply look at your account orders to see which items you can return.

Select the item you would like to return and then follow the instructions to start the process. You can select an Amazon Go store as your preferred return drop-off location.

To complete the return and get your money back, visit the Amazon Go store and go to the returns processing area near the front gates.

To get in, you need to scan the code for the store in your Amazon Shopping app. Remember that there are two different QR codes, one for Amazon Go listing and one for return.

After you submit the item to Amazon Go, you will receive an email confirming that the returned item has been received.

Once your refund has been processed you will receive another email and then it usually takes 3-5 days for the money to show up in your account.

If you want to know more, you can also read our related posts on whether or not honey works on Amazon, Buying groceries on Amazon and Amazon Fresh.


Amazon Go is the newest convenience store chain in the US and UK Within three years of opening its first location in Seattle, Amazon Go has grown to more than 30 locations in major cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and London expanded.

Designed to be a highly efficient convenience store, Amazon Go only requires the Amazon Shopping app, which gives you a QR code to enter the store’s gates.

Once inside, you can put your phone away and enjoy a seamless shopping experience where you can pick up all the groceries you need and then walk out the door, with no lines or a checkout required.

Amazon Go uses a virtual shopping cart to track your purchases, and anything you buy from the convenience store is charged to your Amazon account after you exit.

Amazon sends a receipt to your email and tracks those purchases in your account, so you can stock up on hot breakfast goods, baked snacks, sandwiches, salads, wraps, bottled drinks, coffee, wine and beer.