Hands up who never made a purchase on Amazon!!
No hand up? Everybody is looking away?
Calm down, we expected this. Every now and then all of us Internet users immerse ourselves into the great virtual stores looking for something that cannot be found, trendy or just intriguing. Even only to check the price, color, characteristics or the size.
It is only a small step from the searching to the purchasing, only a few clicks.
The Amazon package has become the symbol of Internet purchases, of something that attracts our interest and after a short waiting it reaches us. The virtual that becomes concrete, right at home.
When we talk about Amazon we talk about concreteness and much more. We get that from the statistics. The annual income, in little more than a decade, rose from 6.92 billion in 2004 to almost 136 billion dollars in 2016. The web shopping doesn’t know consumption crisis, on the contrary, with its endless range of products, often at a lower cost, represents an opportunity.
Longer we use the web, easier seems to be the online purchase; part of our lives.
Shopping online is not the only end point of this process of modernization.
The first Amazon store fully automated in Seattle, Amazon Go, is tracking a further new direction.
You must have activated the corresponding App on your own smartphone, then you enter the new store, you take what you want and exit. No registers, no line, no human touch. An automatic system is following you step by step tracking your operations, what you touch and what you take; autonomy on movements, swiftness in purchasing, impersonality.
With Amazon Go there is not the Internet with its online stores to look like the real shops, quite the contrary. There is the real shop imitating and replicating the impersonal dynamics of the web.
The online buying on smartphone application with login and password is instant, direct, anonymous, free of contradictions and human touch.
The first real shop Amazon Go, certainly the first of many, has something of virtual. There is a “click” materializing.
It’s as if Facebook opened a restaurant where to socialize, obviously not in person but only through displays (maybe this is something that has been already done!).
It is also true that inside the shop there are salesmen, ready to answer to all the customer’s questions and necessities. Some tradition in a high-tech shop doesn’t hurt.
Amazon Go is the end point of a long process that transformed the commercial transaction, where the purchasing is aseptic and not to be shared with anyone.
Using technologies in order to follow every customer’s movement with the aim of making him autonomous and free to purchase, has its nemesis in the trial, and we underline trial, the same that Amazon has conducted on its own employees with an electronic bracelet unable to track the activities and working rhythm.
We don’t want to fall in trivial speculations, but is rather evident that in both cases:
- Web, communication and data are replacing partly the people (salesmen, cashiers and supervisors) and accelerate the action of purchasing or supervision.
- Efficiency, immediacy and productivity are taking the center stage, relegating behind the stage the observation, the personal contact, the empathy and emotion.
- The great freedom of movement offered by the shop technologies finds, through the same technologies, its oxymoron in the production chain, where every inappropriate movement may be evaluated.
Both dynamics are directed on the object and not on the person avoiding distractions.
As mentioned before, this is an attempt at bringing Internet into the real world by automating part of our lives.