Amazon adds RFID to Just Walk Out technology

  • September 26, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

RFID technology is helping Amazon expand the potential for checkout-free technology to clothing, soft lines, fan gear and more.

“At Amazon, we love innovating on behalf of our customers and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Jon Jenkins, vice president at AWS. “From the day we opened our first Just Walk Out technology store in 2018, shoppers told us how magical they find checkout-free shopping.”

The RFID technology has been supplied by Ohio-based Avery Dennison, a specialist in RFID sensor and digital identification for the retail industry.

The technology is being used in entertainment venues, airports, universities, grocery and convenience stores, and stadiums across the USA, UK and Australia. Shoppers can grab what they need and get on their way without having to wait in line, and store owners and retail operators have embraced the cost-efficiency and revenue-driving benefits of the technology.

It uses cameras, shelf sensors, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as computer vision and generative AI, to enable retailers to sell a wide range of products, such as food, beverages, groceries, home goods and more.

At computer vision-based checkout-free stores, products are arranged on shelves or tables so the system can see which items are being taken. This means products such as clothing need to be packaged in bags or boxes, but that’s not always the way people shop for soft goods. Customers want to see clothing on hangers, pick them up, feel the fabric, try them on, and may even return the items to other shelves or locations in the store. To address the nature of shopping for soft lines, Amazon is combining the power of Just Walk Out technology with RFID.

“RFID technology has been around for decades and is typically used by stores to track and manage inventory,” said Jenkins. “Given its prevalence in retail supply chains, we decided to figure out a way RFID could benefit customers in a checkout-free environment. And what we came up with is a new type of Just Walk Out technology store where customers can grab clothes, hats, shoes and more, and simply walk out of the store through an exit gate even while wearing their purchases by tapping their credit or debit card, or hovering their palm over an Amazon One palm recognition device. No more checkout lines for clothes.”

This RFID capability is in addition to the computer vision-based offering, and will let retailers provide an expanded selection of clothing, apparel and other soft lines merchandise.

Amazon first piloted Just Walk Out technology with RFID at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington, for a few games at the end of Seattle Kraken’s ice hockey season earlier this year.

“At Climate Pledge Arena, we’re continuously looking to innovate and improve the in-arena experience for our fans,” said Todd Humphrey, senior vice president for Seattle Kraken. “Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology with RFID allows for a fast and easy way for our fans to grab their favourite Kraken gear and get back to the game, and our fans loved the experience.”

Validated by positive feedback from the Kraken fans and arena officials, Amazon has now launched the technology at Lumen Field, home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. During the 2023-24 NFL season, fans can grab their Seahawks gear at the new Seahawks pro shop outlet in the north-west corner of the stadium’s field level.

“Delivering a great fan experience is central to everything we do here at Lumen Field, and our customers love the convenience of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology,” said Zach Hensley, Seahawks vice president. “Eight of our concessions locations are already using Just Walk Out technology and seeing great results. Now, we are excited to be the first NFL stadium with an RFID-enabled Just Walk Out technology store so fans can grab their favourite hats, jerseys and more, and simply walk out. We are seeing great traction for this new store, and our fans are enjoying the experience.”

Last September, Lumen Field installed its first Just Walk Out technology store, District Market, on the stadium’s upper concourse. During the 2022 season, the store saw a 60% increase in customer throughput, and the total transactions per game doubled compared with the traditional concession stand that previously stood in the same location. By the end of the season in early 2023, the team saw transactions per game in that location increase 85% and total sales per game increase 112%. Following that success, Lumen Field has added eight more Just Walk Out technology stores in the arena including the new RFID store, making Lumen Field the venue with the most Just Walk Out technology locations anywhere in the world.

Every item for sale in the store has a unique RFID tag, which looks similar to a standard apparel tag. Shoppers enter the store, take what they like, and leave through the exit gate by using their credit or debit card, or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device. When they pass through the exit gate, the RFID tags in their clothing and other apparel are read by RFID readers, and the credit card they use to exit or the payment information linked to their Amazon One profile will be charged. Shortly after exiting the store, they will be able to access their receipt online.

To enable this capability for Just Walk Out technology, Amazon called on Avery Dennison. Avery Dennison works with global retailers and brands to optimise their omnichannel supply chain, improve store efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

“Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology is an exciting example of how RFID technology is disrupting traditional retail models,” said Bill Toney, vice president at Avery Dennison ( “Avery Dennison has been working closely with Amazon from the beginning of this initiative to enable the use of high-quality, advanced RFID sensor technology to establish a fast and reliable automated checkout process. No queues or scanning products ultimately means an improved, differentiated and frictionless customer shopping experience.”

There are more than 70 Amazon-owned stores, and more than 85 third-party retailers with Just Walk Out ( technology located across the USA, UK and Australia, with new locations launching every month.