Look Forward: Amazon’s 7-Eleven Lockers are a “Sign of the Times”
>By James Lenhart
Vending machines and automated-checkout services were a small part of U.S culture back in 1888 with the invention of gumball dispensers. Fast forward to now and you’re surrounded by machine automation. From a business perspective it’s more affordable to maintain a machine rather than pay an employee to sell some sodas, or the day’s paper. Walk in to a Wal-Mart and you’ll probably be familiar with the self-checkout process, but that’s a little different than what the company’s of today are trying to achieve.
Outside of your local brick and mortar stores you have a large online retail presence that many are willing to use, but it’s a pain when you have to wait for a package to arrive. It’s all about merging your online life with reality, and what better way to do that than to offer a vending machine that is stocked with the item you just ordered on Amazon.
That’s right, Amazon will stock a vending machine with the product you ordered. Sure, there are limitations, but the first arrival of these machines are already being installed at participating 7-Eleven locations. Just order your goods online, choose the local pick-up point of your choice, print the bar code, show up to the ATM-like machine, present code, take package from cubby hole, and leave.
Looking at today this isn’t very new, especially when you see things like the walking robot Coca-Cola machine in Japan, or the Best Buy Express machine with various gadgetry, or even the RedBox machines outside of McDonalds. However, it’s that key step in merging our online lives with reality that I believe Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, envisions for our lives as consumers.
Check the pictures!
“Look Forward” is an on-going series related to the future of how we’ll live.