Amazon Go and the jobs that might ‘go’ with it

Do you ever pay for gas at the pump or do you prefer to go inside the station and pay to the gas station attendant?
The reason why you probably still go inside the station is because there’s no automatic payment machine, and if there is, the interface is so terrible that you would waste more time trying to figure out how to use it than to just go inside and pay to the attendant — even if there is a line.

Let’s face it: that payment machine has everything to be a better experience for the customer. More convenient, more efficient and faster. But the reality is that it never works as it’s supposed to, that’s why you just stopped trying to use it. It’s a natural human behavior.

The same thing was happening in the Retail industry. Supermarket chains all over the world tried self-checkout machines and portable barcode scanners, but mass adoption is not here yet, because, then again, the interface is terrible and the systems are not reliable.

However, here comes a new era, where technology has evolved greatly and ‘key industry players’, like never before, understand the importance of well-designed customer experiences, user interfaces and human-computer interactions. It really can make a big difference.

Yes, of course, I’m talking about Amazon Go. The grocery store, where you can walk in, pick up the items you want, and walk away without having to wait in line for paying!

In a few years from now, with the aid of a beautifully designed App, sensors, computer vision, and deep learning systems, the shopping experience will become seamless.

Some say that over the next 50 years, only the “creative” jobs will survive — the ones that can’t be easily replaced by a computer. Amazon Go just hit us in the face, showing that the change might not happen over the next 50 years, but instead, over the next 10.

As technology evolves, more and more industries will adopt these kind of systems. With it, several jobs such as the cashier at the supermarket or the attendant at the gas station might go away. On the other end, new and different jobs, in other markets that don’t even exist today, will be created, hopefully creating a good balance. It’s the natural evolution of things.

Definitely challenging and exciting times ahead!

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Bruno Costa
Growth & Communications