We have officially reached the most advanced society in Human History ever achieved, that is until tomorrow. Today the world uses the ecommerce giant Amazon to purchase everything from toilet paper to live crickets, often times arriving at your door in two days. But this insane speed that these impulse purchases arrive on our doorstep takes manpower. According to a New York Times article Amazon had 653,3001 employees worldwide in June helping with everything from packaging, order fulfillment and delivery. But this heavy use of human capital is not sustainable in the current business model of nearly instant delivery.
The solution is Artificial intelligence (AI) and Robots. These robots aren’t the classic repetitive robotic arms repeating the same task day in and day out. These smart robots fetch items from shelves and prepare them for packaging and shipping. “The courier firm DTDC in India, for example, uses a 25-arm robot to pick orders at a rate of 3,500 orders per hour, about one per second.”2 These robots work harder than any human, don’t get paid wages, don’t take sick days, and never take vacations to their family’s beach house once a year. This is one of the reasons why the automation of the Ecommerce industry is expected to save $450 million to $900 million in North America2.
Delivery is arguably the most important part of a product. Often times the lure of expedited shipping convinces us that ordering is worth it. Amazon and other delivery giants are implementing drones to deliver their product in a matter of minutes. This new method of transportation will dramatically increase the safety and efficiency of delivery. Another method of transportation being implemented is the “Scout” robot rover that is currently being tested by amazon to replace mailmen. These robots deliver packages straight to your door without the need of human help. Scout has the potential to automate package delivery and save eCommerce companies millions.
For better or for worse these new innovations and robots are on their way to completely replacing their living, breathing counterparts. But fear not, where old jobs are replaced, new jobs are created. A new wave of jobs in the robot repair industry and robot development industry will inevitably begin to boom. Be sure not to blink because this new wave of robots will soon be in complete control of the e-commerce industry faster than your delivery of live crickets will arrive on your doorstep.
1: Weise, Karen. “Amazon Has 30,000 Open Jobs. Yes, You Read That Right.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Sept. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/technology/amazon-30000-job-openings.html.
2: Kaplan, Marcia. “Will Robots Take Over Ecommerce Warehouses?” Practical Ecommerce, Practical Ecommerce, 10 Sept. 2015, www.practicalecommerce.com/Will-Robots-Take-Over-Ecommerce-Warehouses.