I am SO EXCITED and cannot wait to try this new shopping experience! I was walking past one of the new stores on Franklin Street in Chicago not really sure what it was. I know you can pick up your items from Amazon (why would I want to do that? When anything I buy is delivered in two days free to my door?). Anyway, I saw my favorite Farmers Fridge Salad in the window. Farmer's Fridge prepares salads fresh daily, traditionally sells them through a vending machine (there are not enough vending machines around for me). These salads are an impressively delicious, healthy grab and go item, made with in-season ingredients. There's a spot in the vending machine for the consumer to recycle their salad jar. Whoah selling Farmers Fridge Salads is a game changer! What is THIS new Amazon concept all about?
I asked my much hipper friend who was sure to know what the 411, was to fill me in. He explained that it's a new store concept where you don't have to wait in line and your Amazon account is charged directly to your app. Waiting for a conference call that never came (frustrated!) I downloaded the Amazon Go app. As a writer, I was critiquing the communication. It was very clear. An animated infographic popped up guiding the user through the process. Even if a user couldn't read the words in English, the images were clear. Any image could be paused and replayed. I was kinda glad there was no music in the background which is so popular now.
My only frustration is the store is only open during regular business hours Monday through Friday. I wonder why that is? It can't take much overhead to run the store. One perhaps two employees need to be present. Eventually no employee will likely be required to be present at all. I'm sure there's a risk factor but that can't be too great either. Digital tracking and immediate notification should minimize the risk of theft and personal harm.
As some Chicagoans lament the demise of Sears, I'm celebrating these new concepts maximizing all the technological tools we have available to create a better quality of life for all or at least for some at the start. Sure, jobs will be lost, but jobs will be created. It's up to us to keep reinventing and grabbing the opportunities in front us. Sears helped the world grasp the concept of credit which was incredibly futuristic thinking in it's day. . At one time, not so long ago, it was humiliating to have any sort of debt at all. Sears convinced people by opening up a store credit card that it was "ok" to use credit to get the big ticket item of appliances. It takes a while for social and behavioral change.
Sears lost out when they stopped listening to the marketplace and transforming to utilize available technology and thinking about future potential versus focusing on hanging onto existing profits which ultimately dissolved. .
Is Amazon Go concept here to stay? Will it be used for other shopping experiences? Restaurants? Convenience stores? I hope so.