Some Real Questions and Concerns About Amazon Go
Amazon has a new concept, Amazon Go - the no-money, no-cashier store of the future. While this is a unique concept that will certainly attract hurried shoppers who want nothing more than to get in and out of a grocery store in minutes, there are a few questions I have about this new idea and some general things that concern me:
1) What happens to all of the young high school kids who are cashiers and grocery sackers?
2) How does Amazon know what you purchased if you just walk out?
3) Do I like the fact that there are cameras all around the store watching my every move and knowing down to the second how long I shopped?
4) Can't this concept be hacked?
5) So basically it's like a silent party - we're all just walking around a store quietly?
6) How many people are going to lose their jobs if we move to this concept?
7) How do you return things you don't like?
8) What is it about human interaction that people hate so much that Amazon created a concept to complement that feeling?
Overall, I get it. Amazon is playing into this shift away from traditional big-box shopping and towards an online and convenience-driven shopping experience. People want what they want NOW and without the fuss. But c'mon, isn't this too much?
I can think of at least 25 privacy issues with this new method of shopping. Nevermind that it seems that I get pop ups and ads on my phone from brands that I may have just thought about, but now we are walking into Amazon's force field of influence by just walking into their store. Instantly they gather information about what we purchased, what we may have looked at in the store, and what they can send us by way of ads or email blasts to get us to buy in the future. I think that's just weird.
But what I really have an issue with is this concept of faceless shopping. While it may be kind of cool to save 20 minutes here and there by skipping the line, what are we trading off in exchange? Aren't we missing something entirely when we substitute human interaction in favor of convenience? I think so.