Amazon Stores Digitize the Way Americans Shop

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Michael Evelyn

Amazon releases their AmazonGo and AmazonFresh stores across the U.S.

Michael Evelyn, Staff Writer

Shopping: the one daily action that remained consistent in efficiency and simplicity. Whether it is a quick run to a convenience store or a weekly trip to the supermarket to get food, the speed that humans are able to buy goods from these stores has stayed the same. However, Amazon is now trying to speed up this process by making shopping stations that function without any person working in their shops.

Amazon is changing the way people shop by getting rid of all cashiers and cash registers. This allows shoppers to pick out their items, pay for them and leave without waiting in line or having to deal with slow cashiers. The company is rolling out these stores across the United States in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

To enter, shoppers have to scan their phones at an access gate which allows the store to use their Amazon accounts in order to charge their linked credit card. While inside, customers can pick up the items they would like to purchase and leave the store as soon as they have everything they need. Once the buyer has exited, their credit card is charged with all the items that the shopper picked up without ever having gone to a cashier.

The fact that there is no one working in the stores may make it seem that it would be easy to steal items. However, Amazon has figured out a way to make it virtually impossible to shoplift. With the use of many cameras spread throughout the location, each equipped with high quality sensors, each item that is picked up can be tracked in real time.

“The technology that Amazon has implemented into these stores is incredible. I think that this would make things a lot easier to shop,” junior Isaac Zerdoun said.

This new model might become more popular as an alternative way to shop, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the lack of cashiers and employees, these stores could provide a different way to purchase goods without the fear of potentially spreading or coming into contact with the virus. Amazon stores have become the most successful out of the competing grocery stores during the pandemic. According to the 10,000 U.S. households that were surveyed, Amazon was deemed the most efficient due to their fast digital transactions.

I have shopped at one of these AmazonFresh grocery stores and it is much more convenient than the other stores I have shopped at. Every store should be like this,”

— junior Oliver Michel

On top of these convenience stores, Amazon is planning to have their own supermarket named Amazon Fresh, which also makes shopping for groceries easier and quicker. The items in these super markets may be the same as traditional supermarkets such as Publix or Trader Joe’s, however, using sensors in the shopping carts, scanners can track what is in the shopping cart and calculate the total amount of money as more items are placed in the cart.

Using the same process as the convenience stores, the shoppers’ cards are automatically charged the moment they walk through the doors on their way out. Not only do the sensors track the price of the items, but they can also display nutritional facts about the items as they are placed in the cart, letting the buyer know which items are healthy or unhealthy.

However, there may be some concerns with a fully digital store. The first major concern is that if the electronics were to malfunction or stop working, the whole store would have to close down until it is fixed. Additionally, if some sort of altercation, crime or general conflict were to occur, there would not be any workers or security to stop them or call for help.

Both of these stores could greatly benefit shoppers across the country. The technology that Amazon uses to track all these items is unmatched by any other company so far and might soon replace the old system of shopping, which has not changed in several decades. Although there are some concerns, the advancements that technology has made could streamline the shopping process in the future.