Amazon Go

The chatter of when the next earth shattering technological advancement will take place has been racing through consumer’s minds lately. Everyone knows that advancements are on the rise now more than ever before with self-driving cars, facial recognition phones, and now…virtual shopping.

The first Amazon Go Store made its grand opening on Monday, January 22, 2018 in Seattle. The store was originally supposed to open its doors approximately a year ago, but delayed the opening due to more extensive stress-testing. According to Marketing Land, the store is described as a “high-tech, more health-conscious version of 7-11 for millennials.”

When you arrive at the store, you are prompted to scan your QR code from the Amazon Go app and then you simply begin shopping. The app can detect when you put an item in your shopping cart and if you remove something from your cart, which also makes it virtually impossible to shoplift. Once the shopper exits the store, their default card is immediately charged and their receipt becomes available on the app.

This technology based store eliminates wasted time standing in lines and unhappy customers all while speeding up the grocery shopping time and improving the customer’s overall shopping experience.

The obvious concern that comes to mind when thinking about this new store is how this will affect the labor market. Approximately 6% of the United States workforce is employed in retail and as cashiers, which totals to more than 8 million people.

The opening of Amazon Go is now putting the pressure on other retailers, specifically grocery and convenient stores, to enhance their customer experience by increasing ease and speed of shopping. The more technology involved and the less cashiers, the quicker the shopping experience can be. This poses a threat to those 8 million people who are employed through retail and as cashiers.

Although this sounds life shattering to those who are affected, there are other solutions that could help combat against the loss of cashier jobs. For example, cashiers could transfer to working as customer service representatives or restocking the shelves. In addition, with the opening of such a technology based store, it could be beneficial to have employees that purely focus on ensuring that every customer’s apps are working properly.

Currently, Amazon Go is only focusing on the grocery and convenience sectors but long-term has the capability to expand into other market categories around the world.

People in today’s world, especially millennials, are technology crazed and are always looking for the next big thing. Luckily for them, it is only the beginning of this technology era and with the Amazon Go grand opening, it now has consumers on their toes about what the next advancement will be and how it will affect their lives.

Read more on the recent updates of Amazon Go, here.