Grocery store lines have evolved quite a bit. The "15 items or less" queue saved us from waiting behind other customers with a cart full of goods. Then the self-checkout line enabled self-sufficiency. And now Amazon is attempting to push the industry very far into the future.
The tagline for their new venture is "No lines, no checkout - just grab and go!" The company already has a grocery delivery service but this new project is in-store shopping with a twist.
Amazon Go, a new grocery store that will open to the public in early 2017, allows customers to virtually pay for items. Customers scan their smartphone on a sensor as they walk into a store, pick up the items they want and leave! The items get charged to their Amazon account. Watch the video below to see how it all works.
Although the Amazon Go page is full of FAQs, so many questions are left unanswered.
- Will Amazon Go also function like a regular store? Can people without accounts shop inside the store and buy items from a cashier or self-checkout machine?
- What security measures are in place to keep people from actually shoplifting?
- Will there be human employees or will robots be stocking shelves, answering questions, and helping you find items?
- Will there be coupons?
These concerns and others are in the process of being addressed. Right now, the only store location is in Seattle, just a 10-minute walk from the Amazon headquarters. It's open as a beta program only for Amazon employees.
If other retailers begin using similar technology, this could eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. Between Walmart "smart carts" (shopping carts that drive themselves), Lowes' "LoweBots" (robots that assist customers), and robots that can stock shelves, it seems that nearly every human position can be replaced by technology.
Do you think this is a good idea or will it hurt the economy? Would you shop here or do you prefer to get your groceries the old fashioned way? Let me know in the comments section below.