Retail in the future

Automation is progressing at an impressive pace. It will easily reach the point where human interaction it’s basically not needed for most of the tasks in the economy, in just a few years.

There’s a lot of worry about what’s going to happen with most of the jobs that are currently available for humans, when machines are up and running at all places.

One of the places where automation will hit the hardest is at the retail stores.

Imagine how retail will work in the future

If the machines, programmed with artificial intelligence, are capable to receive inventory, sort and classify all boxes, place them at the shelves, place tag prices on everything and maintain the place running, why would any company would think of having employees?

Even the paying experience is to be revolutionized. Customers will just grab the products from the shelf and the computer will immediately add it to their tab.

Once a customer is ready to go, he will just simply walk out the store and the computer will add the total and immediately charge the total amount to his credit card. No hassles.

It is so real that, for example, Amazon is already running a test at its retail stores, without human employees.

In the future it’s hard to imagine how this technology wouldn’t spread to any single store in the world. Why hiring humans when you could just simply automate all the store, so it runs by itself 24/7?

The retail space it’s going to profit a lot from this new era to come. Companies that now are struggling to make a living in the retail sector, are going to see their profits run up in the next decade.

With retail stores open all day and all night long, customers are going to find it so easy to drive to one of those stores at any time during the day, and pick up the products they need and then just walk out and go home right away.

Retail is not going anywhere

The conversation regarding the future of retail always ends in a dark note, along the lines of “retail is dead, it cannot compete against e-commerce”, “people will stop going to stores”, “why go to an store when Amazon can shop it to your door the very next day”, etc

But think about this: If the store is open 24 hours a day, with no humans working in it. You’ll be driving a random day to your house during the night? Let’s say at 11pm after a night out with friends, and remember that there’s nothing for breakfast for the next day.

You’ll only have to stop by, go into the store, grab a few things, exit the store ( I’ll automatically charge the amount of you ur purchase to your credit card as you exit), jump in your car and drive home.

Takes 5 minutes, and you can just enjoy selecting the products you want at that very moment. No interactions with cashiers, no credit card swipes, no waiting for the physical invoice to be printed, just quick and to the point.

Automation will basically, at the end, remove all that is wrong with retail: cashiers, lines, delays, card swipes, etc. It will allow us to just enjoy a nice and relaxing purchasing experience.