Amazon Go; Next Level Shopping

Timea    March 15, 2018

Shopping has changed a lot over the years from shopping online to wireless debit machines to credit card readers for smartphones and almost any kind of delivery that can be tracked. Did you ever wonder what would be next?

Amazon designed and built a supermarket style store called Amazon Go that was created through advanced technology. The purpose of this store is to provide people a shopping experience without having to wait in check-out lines or be served by cashiers. Amazon Go was first launched for employees in December 2017 and opened up to the public in January 2018.

If someone wants to shop at Amazon Go they first must have an Amazon account and the IPhone or Android app downloaded on their smartphones. This app is required to be downloaded for the customer to enter the store, as the customer enters the store they have to scan their smart phones to begin their shopping experience. Customers are provided with reusable shopping bags to use and leave with, there are no shopping carts or baskets for customers to use. The store is filled with many cameras along the ceilings that watch every move a customer makes. In addition to cameras, the shelves are equipped with weight sensors that sensor if an item has been removed from the shelf or put back. Every time a customer takes something off the shelf the item is charged to the customer’s account. The customer can always put something back on the shelf and it will be taken off their account. A customer can even return items after leaving the store.

The store isn’t completely “staffless”, there are employees in the kitchen prepping fresh food, there are also employees around the store that restock and organize shelves to maintain the store. Another position that is still filled by humans in the store is checking IDs in the alcohol section. Once the customer is ready to leave all they have to do is walk out of the store. A few minutes after walking out of the store, the customer receives a digital receipt that shows the total of their bill. The Amazon Go app will also inform the customer with data on how much time they spent shopping.

This is a futuristic way of shopping because a customer does not purchase items at the store with cash. Second of all, even if a customer wants to use a debit card or a credit card there is no place to use it in the store. Most importantly, there are no check-out spots and no employees to check-out a customer.

This type of advanced technology will develop more competition to other supermarkets, for an example Walmart has now announced a boosted food delivery system for their customers. This whole store is created through information technology. Starting from how people enter the store, to how the items are tracked and how the customer pays at the end of their visit. All of these steps are tracked through technology. This type of technology use can organize and benefit a company by tracking stock, tracking popular times, days and times the store is most visited, types of customers, average amount of time spent in the store and average amount of money spent in the store etc.

This technology can perfectly fit into the category of Internet of Things (IoT) because for one example the app that the customer is connected to will track how much money a customer spends on food and how much time was spent in the store. This type of technology will evolve Amazons Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) because Amazon will now be able to track more data and collaborate more effectively with different departments throughout not only the stores they create but the whole organization.

Even though there are no cashiers, customer engagement does and will continue to exist. Employees are available at the front of the store to provide assistance to customers that need with the app or have any questions about the store. Sometimes this type of technology and globalization may lead people to believe their jobs will be in jeopardy in the future but in most cases similar to Amazon Go, a job is not lost but it is replaced with a new task or position. In this case, the cashiers may not lose their job but instead they will work in a different department like helping customers with their new app or checking ID’s to ensure customers are of age to purchase the alcohol in the Amazon Go store. On the other hand, sometimes new technology will require new jobs and positions, such as software developers, web develops and social media specialist to continue to connect with the internet world.

Lessons for Others

Organizations should continue to put themselves in their customer’s shoes using technology; you will only know how to please customers if you know what they are looking for and what they desire, or even if you know what they don’t desire. In the case of Amazon Go, they were confident in the fact that shoppers didn’t enjoy spending their time in line ups or at cash registers. Amazon Go made it easier for shoppers to grab their super market items and go. Their customers will not have to spend 20% – 40% of their time in the supermarket line ups or at cash registers any more. If you know what your customer wants and that it’ll benefit both of you there should be little hesitation to move forward with the idea.

Organization: Amazon Go
Industry: Electronic Commerce Company
Name of Organization Contact: Unavailable At This Time

Authored by: Timea

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