Cashiers May Completely Disappear From Stores in the Near Future
(AmericanProsperity.com) – The world we live in is changing in many ways. Technology is becoming a more integral part of daily life all across the globe every single day. The next chapter of how these advancements could change the world comes in the form of artificial intelligence (AI) that completely changes the way people shop. Cashierless shopping, for example, is already here — and there are serious concerns about how it will affect the economy and the job market.
The Way of the Future?
The days of waiting in line for half an hour to check out with groceries may be a thing of the past. Companies like Amazon are hoping to streamline the shopping experience for global consumers. One day, customers will be able to walk into a store, start grabbing items, and walk out without the hassle of having to pull out their wallets or worry about waiting in line.
Companies are heavily investing in cashierless technology to allow for these frictionless transactions. Most systems in current operation let customers scan their card or phone as they enter or exit the store. As they shop, revolutionary AI systems, sensors, and cameras monitor their movements to detect what they pick up and put back. By the time the customer is ready to leave, the checkout system knows exactly how much to charge.
Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” system utilizes a system that features a turnstile at the entrance. Customers pay only after they walk out of the store. It has already been implemented in several Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Go locations, airports, and sports stadiums. But the online retail giant is constantly attempting to market the tech to more businesses.
MAPCO, Circle K, BP, and Giant Eagle implement a similar system called Grabango that directly competes with Amazon Just Walk Out. That technology allows customers to pay for their goods at an exit kiosk on their way out.
Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find good help for a multitude of reasons, and many are turning to AI to solve the problem. The world has become much more expensive for customers to live in, pushing people to reduce their spending. Yet, business overhead costs are also sharply rising in the current economic atmosphere.
The shift is pushing companies to cut costs in any way they can. From a fiscal standpoint, it makes sense to cut back on high-ticket spending — and labor just happens to be one of the most expensive aspects of daily operation.
As a direct result, businesses are growing more open to experimenting with AI and automated checkouts. After all, it costs less over time to run most machines than it does to pay an actual human being a living wage. But is it really the right path forward?
Some shoppers vehemently disagree. They criticize cashierless checkouts and find it embarrassing when they need to ask for help while using them. Others have serious questions about the ethics of a business paring back by taking jobs away from people in the community simply to save a buck. According to a report from A&M Retail Group, in stores where the business offered both the AI system and human cashiers, many customers preferred to go to registers to have a person check them out.
While a complete transition to cashierless stores is likely years away, the evidence already suggests that customers might not have a choice about whether that day will eventually arrive. Businesses, in many cases, seem to be pushing forward to advance the concept irrespective of how consumers feel. How many jobs will be lost along the way?
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