The unstoppable tide of automation has sent forth a prescient wave of cash-less, cashier-less, cash register-less, (but not entirely employee-less) wonder in the shape of a grocery store.
Naturally, the Brandwatch React team has the social Amazon Go data.
It’s been a year since Amazon first posted this still crazy vision of a future where you just walk in to a store, pick up what you want and walk out while technological sorcery works silently in the background to make sure you’re paying what you owe.
And today this mind blowing futuristic scene becomes a reality. In Seattle.
We decided to take a dive into mentions of Amazon Go the day before the opening of the first store and, of course, we found a whole lot of hype.
We tracked more than 24,000 mentions of Amazon Go across social media on Sunday 21st January.
On Twitter, the majority of those mentions came from men.
If there’s a mention for everyone who’s going to show up for the opening of the store, expect to be waiting in line as if Apple just surprise-released an iPhone X2.
Within the mentions we took a look at how the various features of the store were being discussed.
Were people most interested in the fact that there are no lines, or that they no longer have to speak to cashiers?
It appears that the cashier-less element is the most hyped aspect of the Amazon Go store, although if you’re heading there in hope of avoiding all aspects of human interaction you should know that there will be some employees in the store preparing food, stocking shelves and helping when you get confused about how this crazy new world works. You’ll also probably be surrounded by customers keen to give the new store a try and document the experience on Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re looking for a store that fulfils your need for food and toilet paper and complements your solipsistic mood you may need to wait a few months before the hype dies down. Or, you know, order online.
Using the topic cloud component in Brandwatch Analytics we surfaced some of the most common words and phrases surrounding the new stores.
I was surprised at the popularity of this tweet in the conversation, especially when most of the retweets that happened on Sunday did not come from Seattle.
Regardless of whether all the retweeters from outside Seattle have downloaded the app and are making a journey down to the store, expect a line. People are literally going to get in line for a store that is designed to get rid of lines.
“Future” is an enormous part of the conversation, and there’s no doubt that the opening of Amazon’s pioneering new store marks a turning point in the retail world.
The technology that’s been developed for the stores no doubt comes at a high price.
Assuming the store is popular, other retailers will need to invest fast in keeping up, or Amazon’s rapid expansion could spell trouble for their competitors.
That said, whether people will actually enjoy the experience remains to be seen. My guess is that while we’ll see an uptick in rage tweets on job loss and think pieces on these stores being the scissors ready to cut up the already torn fabric of society, consumers will quickly adapt to the experience of seamless purchasing – whether it’s good for their bank balance or not.
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