Had a random idea kicking around. Was wondering, what would the world look like if Amazon decided to create warehouses that had a front-facing store, which would be semi-open to the public. You can see what such a service’s landing page could look like here.
By opening up warehouses to the public, consumers could save on delivery fees, avoid waiting for packages to be delivered to their door, buy products for lower prices in bulk, and buy groceries from an integrated Whole Foods grocery store. On Amazon’s side, they could experiment with new systems en masse (such as cashierless store technologies), improve transparency and public image, as well as build “distribution” centers– rebranded as wholesale stores– closer to suburban or urban communities, where a higher density of Amazon orders are probably taking place.
Amazon would further be able to take advantage of the gig economy and services such as Uber, Lyft, and Instacart, in which drivers could act as grocery and Amazon product deliverers, picking up and dropping items in bulk along a predefined and optimized route.
Using the human body as an analogy, the heart would be an Amazon Distribution Center, and the veins and arteries would be the freeways and streets that allow the plasma and red blood cells to deliver their packages of goods to the organs and cells, which in this case would be the consumers.
The current missing piece in the puzzle would be the capillaries, where veins and arteries start to branch and decrease in diameter as well as cell wall thickness, all in order to facilitate an increase in the exchange rate of oxygen and nutrients from the blood to the tissues. I believe Amazon Wholesale Center’s could ease some of the pains of getting products to consumers, by acting as Amazon’s capillaries.
Furthermore, Amazon could take it to the next level by integrating into local communities and facilitating human-to-human interactions. By inviting local businesses to participate in pop-up fairs and installing high-tech exhibits to showcase Amazon’s technological innovations, these wholesale centers could eventually be a place for Prime subscribers to come and hang out, grab a drink, and participate in some interesting shenanigans.
With the recent scandals surrounding some of the largest tech companies that exist today (Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook), it’s becoming more and more apparent that, underneath the shine and polish of technological innovation lies a dark and cut-throat nexus of hidden intentions. These four companies need to start reassessing how they are impacting society, communities, and families, and help repair some of the damage done (whether it had been intentional or unintentional).
Amazon could perhaps take the first step in getting back to the ground, where the real people are. Out of the big four companies listed above, they are the ones who have the most influence in making the obvious and physical differences in people’s lives.