Last year, Amazon threw open the doors of its innovative cashier-less store.
Using sophisticated cameras and a simple phone scan, the store allows shoppers to walk in, pick up what they want and walk out. No wait. No paying, and no fuss.
The quick-in, quick-out appeal is super-convenient. But it comes with a price.
Here’s a look at how Amazon Go might affect the economy.
Super-techy or super-creepy?
Your online browsing and shopping is already tracked. If you step into Amazon Go, the giant e-tailer will also know which brand of pasta you prefer. This isn’t “Big Brother is watching,” it’s more like “Thanks for shopping with Big Brother.”
Amazon Go is primed for overspending. The longer we think about something, the greater the chance we have for reason triumphing over impulse.
With Amazon Go’s lightning-quick shopping experience, that dawdling over items while waiting your turn at the checkout is obsolete. No more second-guessing your purchases and putting non-essentials back on the shelves.
Also, people tend to spend more when they use an abstract form of payment.
Loss of the human touch
There are few commercial interactions as intimate as the one you share with the cashier at your grocery. With Amazon Go, that human touch may soon be lost forever.
If you think you’re safe because you don’t live near Seattle, home of Amazon Go, think again.
Financial analysts predict that Amazon will soon open more cashier-less stores around the country. It also anticipates other retail giants opening their own brands of Amazon Go.
If the cashier-less trend swells, it can significantly erode the second-most common job in the country: checkout clerks.
Amazon has already revolutionized the way Americans shop, but this new trend is taking things to a new level. What’s next? Cashier-less clothing boutiques?
Tens of thousands of retail workers have already sacrificed their jobs to online convenience. Will that number soon triple?
Do your part to keep the economy thriving:
- Shop the local small businesses.
- Order less online. Why not support a community-based business instead?
- Choose American. When you need to order something online, choose an American seller and manufacturer.
Amazon Go is super-cool, but the toll it may take on our economy is hardly worth the price.