mingling with humans.
For years, the world of traditional shopping, suddenly thrown off balance by Internet services, has tried to take back the reins of commerce. While today it’s normal to take a picture of a product in store to compare its price online, up until a few years ago this had to be done with the utmost discretion, as you’d risk being exposed and scolded by store employees. This has done nothing more than take digital purchase practices to the extreme, for the benefit of online operators. Luckily, business strategies have changed, also incorporating interesting integration options, such as picking up an item in store that you bought online, maybe even with a discount.
With Go, Amazon has opened up new intelligence data scenarios that had only been touched upon until now. Information obtained after dozens of purchases on the portal can now be cross-checked with information on individual behaviors in stores. So where will advertising go now? Everywhere, potentially: depending on the customers, ad hoc deals could appear on specific items, in line with the habits of individual accounts. And freedom? Privacy? Gone, along with cashiers, in favor of smarter, more obsessive and omnipresent shopping.
It must be said that Amazon Go isn’t the only project of its kind worldwide. The American retail chain Walmart is testing out a similar in-store system called “Project Kepler”. The famous brand’s stores employ nearly 2 million cashiers, who are already fearful for their future. Kepler is still in its study and definition phase, but it’s clear that the commerce of the near future will follow common applicative methods, whose organizational processes, both internal and for the public, are largely based on technology. And what can be said about 32M, the company that has already started to insert chips into its employees’ bodies?
On this basis, one can hope that ethics continues to prevail over science as much as possible. This doesn’t mean being out-of-date or opposed to change, but rather humanizing it and making it less impactful for those who, more than others, will be shaken up over it. It means embracing, guiding, and assimilating, to prevent society from losing its bearings.