The Future of Shopping - Drive-Through SupermarketsDavid Burgundy | 29 Aug 2018
Convenience is one of the most highly-prized features for many different products and services these days. We are expected to do more and perform in more areas, and are constantly looking for tools to help us do just that. Saving time and effort in one way means, after all, that we can dedicate these resources to something else. Into a world that is so focused on both productivity and economy of effort comes a new concept that seems to fit right in; the drive-through supermarket.
The Design of Drive-Through Stores
The concept was developed by a Russian inventor named Semenov Dahir Kurmanbievich, and could be seen in Dubai and other cities as early as 2019. Drivers would enter a large warehouse in their vehicles, checking a display to find out which checkpoints were open.
The checkpoints in question would have a cashier and, just a few feet away, a rack with various types of groceries stacked on different shelves. By reaching out of their car windows, customers would be able to move the rack so that other shelves become visible, and thus select the products that they wanted to buy.
After this, you’ll be able to pay immediately, without having to wait in queues. As items run low, they can be replenished from vast storage facilities above the warehouse floor. Kurmanbievich asserts that better stock control will make the new system cheaper for the vendors, while being as quick and simple as shopping online. And although all items will be in a rack display, the inventor also says customers will have bigger selections.
Arguments for Drive-Through Stores
The evidence that these warehouses would get the task of grocery shopping done more efficiently seems clear. If they take off, people will have to find another place to check their social media, play their favourite casino games, and do the other things that often take place in checkout lines.
As well as being faster and eliminating stressful supermarket crowds, drive-through stores could be really helpful to certain demographics. Older people, or those who are handicapped and struggle with normal movement, for instance, might find shopping from within their cars more feasible.
In some cases, shopping like this may be an important step in psychological health. Agoraphobics could try the stores once they feel ready to leave the house, but still need some feeling of protection from the outside world. Some advocates also point to the old adage that, quite simply, you can’t stop progress. As modern technology keeps developing, new ways to make old chores easier will keep cropping up too.
Points Against Drive-Through Shops
A lot of the counter-arguments for drive-through retailers are simply challenges to the points in the case that has been made for them. Will they really provide more choice? Considering how much it will cost to build them, are they actually more economical than conventional vendors? And while vehicle-based shopping may be helpful for those dealing with agoraphobia, what about the psychological and social importance of spending time surrounded by other members of the human race?
The other interesting psychological concern here has an evolutionary slant. Humans are a hunter-gatherer species, meaning that when we are getting provisions of any kind we like to have a look around and see what is available. Vertical racks of products could preclude this, and may ultimately mean that people choose not to shop this way.
Amazon has found an interesting middle ground here; making it possible to order online from a wide range of goods at AmazonFresh Pickup, and then driving to a collection point where their purchases will be wheeled to their cars by Amazon employees. The service has already been launched in two Seattle locations, and it will be interesting to note its reception. This could give retailers a good indication of whether or not a drive-through is a good idea.