Amazon Go Is A Game Changer

We have seen time and time again that convenience is king. A frictionless shopping experience will allow many customers to get their grocery shopping done quickly, and efficiently. There is no need to wait in line to check out. No need to pay at the register. This is a long overdue break-through innovation that will give Amazon a competitive edge in the grocery space.


Not only does the promise of convenience drive a competitive advantage for Amazon in the grocery space, but through technology, Amazon is able to drive efficiencies and, in return, reduce cost of operations in running a grocery store.


Business Model Advantage

Amazon is going to have the ability to apply their customer-centric methodology to the grocery space by driving convenience and lowering costs to the consumer.


Amazon will save money with their Computer Vision, Algorithm, and sensor fusion technology. Through Amazon’s Computer Vision, a customer will be able to take what they want off of the shelf, and it will be added into their virtual shopping cart. If a customer decides they do not want a certain product, they only have to place the item back on the shelf in order to have it removed from their virtual basket so they do not get charged for the item. This will save Amazon employee costs because they will not need their stores loaded with people restocking all the items that people leave in random spots of the store before checkout.


Second, shrinkage due to theft will become a thing of the past. Billions of dollars a year are lost due to theft in the retail space. With Amazon’s technology, theft will be a thing of the past.  Allowing computer to manage the virtual cart eliminates human interaction, which, in this case, eliminates theft.


Third, checkout will be an unnecessary expense for Amazon since the checkout process will take place in the shopper’s pocket automatically on their mobile phone. This will also reduce the number of employees, which will result in lower overhead for Amazon Go.


Finally, and most importantly, is the Amazon shopping algorithm. Amazon knows more about its customers through shopping behavior than most people can imagine. Amazon has the ability to learn from its customers within a geographic location to ensure that the right type of inventory will actually be available for purchase. What does this mean?  This means that Amazon can expect to see revenues of a football-field sized Walmart with a physical brick and mortar footprint the size of your local convenience store!


All in all, this is huge and I am optimistic that this will put pressure on existing grocery chains to “step up their game” in technology and convenience in order to compete with Amazon in this space.


The good news for grocery consumers will be that we can all expect huge improvements across the board in multiple chain grocery stores and improved pricing as others shift to compete with Amazon Go.

Gaming, For Life

I’m an innately competitive person.  Whether that has to do with growing up playing almost every sport imaginable or just loving the gamification of life, I’m not really sure… But sometimes I find it next to impossible to contain myself.

This is a trend to which many can relate. Everyone has played some version of the “time game.” You know, where you feel like you’ve been working for hours, you guess the time, only to be immediately devastated when you learn that your guess was at least an hour ahead of reality. Or when you’re using a GPS and do everything in your power to beat your estimated time of arrival.

For some reason, everyday tasks just feel so much more fun and rewarding when you turn them into a little competition.

So how can we translate this practice into our lives for us to become the “best version of ourselves?” According to TED speaker Jane McGonigal, “we feel as if we are not as good in reality, as we are in games,” so we should try to find ways to make the real world function more like a game.

Hundreds of apps have picked up on a similar theory. Coupled with geofencing, users can earn points for visiting new locations, redeem rewards and advance to different levels just like they can do in most games.

Websites like Lumosity also follow this premise, going as far as stating that you can actually “train your brain” with games, and become faster at everyday tasks and retain more information.

So how can you get away with applying similar gamification to other aspects of your life, particularly the workplace?

It’s not like you can take bets on how long your weekly client call will last, or how many times your boss will throw around industry jargon in a presentation. Many question the ethics and legality of office pools and similar activities as it is, even in the most innocent of circumstances.

Furthermore, when office “games” are an effort from HR to encourage teamwork and bonding, they usually end up being more of a pain than pleasure to participate in.

Playing games, says McGonigal, boosts four types of resilience: physical, mental, emotional, and social — which are all needed in our personal and work lives. So if the science behind it is right, then we really should be making the everyday tasks of life into games to make a better world, and a better you. Let the games begin!