When we think of Amazon, we automatically think about the useful online site where you can buy just about everything. However, Amazon took a massive step forward in the way we shop by opening a supermarket with no checkouts or self-service tills. The Amazon Go store based in Seattle, USA opened its doors to the public for the very first time in 2018. In a move which will revolutionise the way we shop, Amazon have implemented a highly modernised system to purchase products in store.
When customers enter the store they walk through gates whilst scanning the Amazon Go app on their phones. Then, as customers roam around the store, cameras mounted to the ceiling identify shoppers and track the items they picks up. Products that shoppers select can be placed straight into their bags without worry of feeling like they are shoplifting. Finally, when customers leave the store, the items they pick up will be billed to their credit cards. In addition to this, sensors are used on shelves in order to add items to a shopper’s account and to delete them should they put them back. Fascinatingly, there is no need for any human interaction at all unless a purchase of alcohol requires an ID check.
Despite the cutting edge technology, it would seem that there are still some improvements to be made. CNBC tech reporter Deirdre Bosa tweeted about her experience using the Amazon Go store where she claims she wasn’t charged for a pot of Siggi’s yoghurt that she picked up. In response to this accidental shoplifting, Amazon Go’s vice president Gianna Puerini assured Bosa that she could enjoy the free yoghurt as these types of events “happen so rarely that we didn’t even bother building in a feature for customers to tell us it happened.”
With the obvious positives of efficiency and convenience, Amazon Go also begs the question of how many jobs will the concept kill. It seems that there is no need for humans at all in this type of store and should Amazon create more stores like it, it may form a bit of a problem. Unquestionably, it may be a case of job roles shifting, for example, although there won’t be cashier jobs available, there will of course be the need for jobs like stocking and customer service. Either way, Amazon Go gives us insight into the technological advances of today and also leads the path to where we might be going.