If you are old like me, you will remember a time when there wasn’t an express checkout line at grocery stores. If you are somewhat younger, you might remember the days before self-checkout lanes were available.
This generation of young people will likely tell future generations that they lived in an era when some people actually lined up to give paper money or swipe a plastic card in front of someone called a cashier. How preposterous!!!
Recently, I was impressed with “scan and go” technology I experienced during a visit to a nearby Sam’s Club store. I had downloaded their app, entered my funding source, easily scanned items, and flew past others waiting to check-out. I knew Sam’s Club was building on technology that I had enjoyed, in various iterations, for years at the Apple Store but the “ease” of the Sam’s Club App surprised me.
No sooner had I begun to celebrate the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app, when I read an article about, “Amazon’s real world shopping experiment”, authored by David Katzmaier for CNET. In that article David, provided a link to the technology Amazon has in trial and summarized the breakthrough as follows:
“Customers use a mobile app to enter the store and items are automatically added to their virtual cart as they grab them off the shelf… The technology is even able to recognize when an item is returned to the shelf. When finished shopping, customers leave the store and their Amazon account is charged. ‘No lines, no checkout,’….”
Easy just got easier and unfortunately, clerks and cashiers became less valuable.
If that ease of checkout isn’t enough, the effort involved in crafting words is also being dispensed within a new set of Twitter applications. As if typing 140 characters wasn’t effort limiting enough, Google will now start responding to emojis that replace text. In yet another CNET article, David Ng notes:
“You can now get answers from the search engine giant just by tweeting an emoji to Google… A burger emoji will show you burger spots nearby, an umbrella emoji will tell you if it will rain where you are.”
So what is the moral of these two stories? MAKE IT EASIER! Put more simply…
Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.
Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli
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