Hello seniors! It seems like shopping is a huge topic when it comes to technology and the internet, and rightfully so – commerce is a huge disruptor for evolution.
This morning I read about Amazon — one of the largest internet-based businesses — is launching a smart phone-enabled ‘just walk out’ grocery store. From what I gather, an app on a smart phone grants customers access to the grocery store and the app is linked to a credit card. Customers pick up their groceries and walk out. The app charges the account according to what you left the store with. There’s no need to wait in line and check out. No need to interact with an employee.
The logistics around this are endless and hopefully there is adequate tech support for any erroneous charges, anti-theft and of course, anti-fraud. What amazes me is how quickly technology is evolving. I remember going to the grocery store with my mom and she had two options to pay – cash or personal cheque. Yup, writing out a personal cheque for groceries was common. While cash is still accepted, and credit cards have been added to the mix, it is now very common to go through the self-checkout line and get your groceries without human interaction unless needed. This new style of shopping however doesn’t even allow for that. Walk out with your goods. Verify your bill and charges online (likely) and if you see anything of concern, you’ll probably be directed to another non-human problem solving techie thing. It’s all very efficient when it works properly but how common are glitches and overcharges (they happen all the time at the traditional scan cash registers)? Is this new convenience accessible for the non-tech saavy smart phone user?
Food for thought….