The concept was announced earlier this month, and a beta store in Seattle, open only to employees, is testing out the mostly automated brick-and-mortar grocery store before it opens to the public, which the company is planning for early 2017.
At an Amazon Go store, shoppers scan their phones to enter, grab the things they need, and walk out. The items they take are automatically charged to their Amazon accounts. “We use computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion, much like you’d find in self-driving cars,” the company explained in a promotional video.
Consumers intrigued by the new convenience
Surveying 2,000 US adults online on December 6 and 8 (around the time of Amazon’s announcement), research firm Morning Consult found that 53% of consumers said they were likely to use Amazon Go if it were offered in their area, while 34% said they weren’t likely.
Most consumers (67%) responded positively to the idea of not having to wait in line at an Amazon Go store, and 59% said they would use Amazon Go because they don’t have to pay with cash or a credit card.
Majority of consumers likely to use Amazon Go… until they learn about potential job losses
“When asked the same question again, but mentioning that Amazon Go could mean reducing or eliminating cashier jobs, the numbers take a dramatic swing in the opposite direction: only 33% said they were likely and 52% said not likely,” the firm said in a summary of the report.
But more Americans were bothered by the idea of job loss caused by overseas outsourcing than they were about technological advancement—to be exact, 62% of US consumers were concerned about jobs going overseas, compared to 27% concerned about losing them to technology.
The survey revealed that concern over jobs going oversees versus jobs lost to technology had the smallest margin for 18- to 29-year-olds. In this age group, 42% said outsourcing is their biggest concern versus 41% who said that it’s technology that worries them.
“It was the only divide between age groups where jobs going abroad was not the majority concern,” the report said.