Today in Seattle, Amazon Go has opened what could be, our shopping future. Grab a bag and pop down to 7th Avenue, no need to take your wallet/purse.
How Does It Work?
On entry to the store you add an app to your device; from that point on, ‘Big Amazon is watching you’. The store is lined with security cameras covering every angle and every move you make is being tracked. There are no checkouts, whatever you leave with is instantly billed to your Amazon account and your electronic receipt will arrive as you exit the store through its security barriers.
Is This The Future?
Let’s ignore the fact that this is another, even easier, way to line Amazon’s ever-increasing pocket. Let’s even ignore the fact we might not like it, but we would probably all do it if there was one in our vicinity. This is an inspired idea that makes great business sense. Limited staff costs in the long term will quickly over-ride the initial outlay for added tech and security. People love convenience and let’s face it, that feeling of not actually spending money will make customers spend more, not less.
Is There A Place For Old-Fashioned Retail?
As I walk in to my local butchers I am greeted by name. I am on first name terms with my extraordinarily efficient milkman, Tim. The local greengrocer insists on carefully packing my fruit and veg and always offers to carry my bags to the car. The Co-op store in my village gives tremendous community support. It will never be appropriate for these retailers to have no staff. The big question is,
What will become of them if we all start shopping at Amazon?