The multinational tech company launched 10 Go stores across the United States, taking pride in its latest shopping technology where customers would simply pay using its mobile app. But not everyone was a fan of the no-cash, no-cashier experience – arguing that it puts unrealistic expectations on people and takes away their freedom of choice.
Earlier this year, Amazon threatened the state of Philadelphia’s bill approval prohibiting stores from going cashless, to which proponents of the bill made sure they wouldn’t give up without a fight. As citizens, government officials and businesses joined together in raising discrimination concerns, it goes without being said that Amazon has given into pressure – and rightfully so.
Prioritizing customers has driven many of Amazon’s most profitable business moves. In 2018, founder Jeff Bezos shared how “the number one thing that has made us successful by far, is obsessive compulsive focus on the customer – as opposed to obsession over the competitor” – and adding cash as an option may just be their most valuable decision yet. Amazon already enables its North American customers to pay cash for their online purchases with its Amazon Cash service launched in 2017. And they are not the only internet giant to recognize the importance of cash; Uber is also increasing the acceptance of cash around the globe.
It’s a business shift worth celebrating over as it signifies the importance of financial inclusion and the role cash plays in a continuously digitising economy. At the end of the day, the goal should be to ensure that all customers – regardless of difference – have the equal opportunity to enjoy the same services.
In September 2018, Bloomberg reported that Amazon plans on opening up to 3,000 more Go Stores by 2021, and although there’s yet to be an established time-frame as to when this new policy will go into place, shoppers can breathe a sigh of relief and glee at their new and enhanced shopping spree!