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LEWIS

By

Molly Thynne

Published on

January 8, 2021

Tags

Social Media, This Week in Social

The first week of a New Year brings revelation. It seems 2021 is no exception, as this week was the week many people (myself included) discovered that Amazon has physical stores. Yes, the e-commerce giant that changed the way we shopped online has gone physical. And we’re not talking little corner shops, we’re talking high-tech supermarkets.


Whilst this is big news to many of us, the first Amazon grocery store was unveiled in Los Angeles way back in August 2020. So why the big fuss now? Well, this week, a video of an Amazon Fresh store in Southern California has gone viral on TikTok. The video follows a woman pushing her cart through the wide range of aisles of fresh fruit, meat, fish and other produce.

But don’t be fooled, this is a shopping video with plenty of surprises and will make you question the boundaries of supermarket shopping. I know, what could possibly be better than the fresh pastries at Lidl’s bakery? Or picking up one of Aldi’s critically acclaimed bottles of wine for an unbeatable price?

The answer is that unlike an ordinary supermarket, Amazon Fresh has technology at every turn.

When arriving at the store, the video shows the woman grabbing her trolley – or the ‘Dash Cart’. This ‘smart’ trolley features a tablet on the handlebar, that allows you to link your shop to your Amazon account.

Pretty cool, right? You haven’t seen anything yet!

The high-tech trolleys also feature scanners that detect products as they’re placed into the trolley and adds them to the Amazon ‘cart’ displayed on the handlebar tablet. If you change your mind the clever scanners automatically delete the product from your tablet’s total shop when removed from the trolley.

The video also shows that manned customer service desks and checkouts could be a thing of the past. Amazon Alexa stations line the aisles acting as customer service desks. Much like your Alexa at home, simply say ‘Alexa…’ and ask your question. And when you’re ready to leave, there is no need to queue at a busy checkout. The video shows the cart automatically charging the total to the registered Amazon account as you exit the store.

What could this new technology mean for the future of supermarket shopping?

In the modern world, digital is king. This fact has only been further confirmed in the past 12 months as the world sheltered indoors and shopped from their screens. But, despite being the leading e-commerce retailer in the world, Amazon appears to be making strides in an entirely new direction where we see technology bleed further into everyday life. Could these Amazon Fresh stores mark the beginning of a physical and digital merger in the world of retail?

Also, following the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic, one cannot help but think of the benefits a superstore focused on minimising face-to-face interactions would have. The Amazon Fresh features, such as the Dash Cart, Alexa help stations and automatic checkouts, might be a means to remedy public anxieties about safer shopping as we (eventually) move into a post-coronavirus world.

TikTok has shown Amazon Fresh as not only the Disneyland of supermarkets, but it may have provided an answer to how we move forward in the ‘new normal’ world (and it will almost certainly provide a new element to Supermarket Sweep).

Wondering when you will be able to get yourself behind the handlebars of a Dash Cart? Well, it may not be too long before we see our very own ‘checkoutless’ Amazon stores in the UK.

 

This week’s top social stories:

Netflix subscription price increases in the first week of 2021. Read more.

French Supermarket promotes eggs in ad that answers the age old question, ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ Read more.

Instagram test new Stories layout on desktop. Read more.

Twitter and Facebook suspend Donald Trump’s accounts. Read more.

 

WINNER:

Burger King reveal 2020 burger recipe

Burger King in Brazil has revealed the recipe for the ‘2020 burger’. Based on a customer social media poll taken before the end of the year, the recipe consists of the unpleasant combination of ingredients imaginable, including chicken feet, rotting fish and caramel sauce. A video of customers trying the burger has amassed 331,300 views on YouTube.

LOSER:

Apple shine light on WhatsApp user tracking

WhatsApp came under fire this week after Apple revealed how the messaging app tracks its users. In a bid to improve transparency around data, Apple introduced privacy labels on its App Store. However, these labels have exposed WhatsApp’s access to user locations, financial information, shopping habits and much more.

CREATIVE:

Cadbury launch ‘golden’ Crème Eggs in stores

Cadbury’s has hidden 200 ‘golden eggs’ in stores around the country to celebrate 50 years of the iconic Cadbury Creme Egg. The lucky chocolate fans who find the eggs will win cash prizes of £5,000. This is the fifth year Cadbury have hidden special eggs throughout shops in the UK.

 

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