Amazon Go – the latest automated supermarket
February 16, 2018
Recently opened Amazon Go marks another milestone in the automation of human jobs. Retail is commonly regarded as the next mile in automation, and with this launch, appears to be here to stay.
Last month, Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store, a check out free supermarket in Seattle.
When looking at the big picture, we saw this coming. Once Amazon acquired Whole Foods, a high-end supermarket chain, for $13.7 billion in June of last year and 5 years earlier, Amazon acquired mobile robot and automated distribution company called Kiva.
Automation in retail
Earlier in the week, I wrote a piece about a “humanless” Chinese Supermarkets called Bingobox. In that article it emphasized the momentum that has been building in the automated retail industry.
The retail industry typically suffers the least when it comes to automation, repetitive tasks in manufacturing are usually first to be eliminated. By contrast, retail is a dynamic and unpredictable environment. Roles in retail, such as check outs, have been the first to be automated, but the likes of Amazon Go and Bingobox seem to have gone way beyond check out automation.
Like Bingobox, Amazon Go scans shopper’s phones as they enter, and cameras scan what they “pick up”, and are automatically charged for their purchases. Unlike Bingobox which provides call center support, Amazon Go provides real human support.
Retooling for the future of automation
Do I think that human jobs are going to be replaced by automation? Well the fact that retail is automating, certainly means that automation has gone way past the mundane.
I personally feel strongly enough that information jobs will come under increasing pressure from computers which store much larger amounts of information, sort, and process them completely unemotionally. It’s of our best interest to understand the momentum that’s building and position ourselves.
Building value in ourselves provides security
We don’t know how quickly things will move however, being aware that services can be done more accurately at a lower cost is key. Collectively we need to focus on what value we bring to others, and build around that mindset.
Putting ourselves in front of the curve by re-tooling and growing our value – in ways that are relevant. Having the skills that pertain to our time, and our current business world. Finding that value, and then be compensated in a way that reflects that value.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’d like to future proof your skills, submit your application today.
Wade W. Bergner