Shopping in the 21st century



The way people shop is about to change dramatically.

Google has launched Google Express, a service that allows users to shop at local stores from their smartphones and get the products delivered the same day.

The convenience comes at a price. At $95 per year, the service is beyond many potential users’ price range. But, the upside is massive. To some, $95 is not that much when considering the time and money they will save.

The next time I am in class and realize I am running low on pages in my notebook, I could get on the Google Express app, which is available for iOS and Android, and order a new notebook from Staples. By the time I get home later that day, it would be waiting on my doorstep.

Some might criticize the service for taking laziness to a new level, but I think it is brilliant. Imagine how much more productive people could be if they never had to make a trip to the store. People would never run out of paper towels, shampoo or batteries because any time they were low they could simply reorder the products and have them later that day. No more making lists and waiting for enough reasons to make the trip to Costco.

Retailers range from Target to REI and Guitar Center. Nearly every purchase I make could be completed without ever leaving my couch.

Amazon and other online retailers have already revolutionized the way people shop and drawn consumers away from brick and mortar stores.

These services differ in that they do not detract from brick and mortar sales the way traditional online shopping does. Instead, Google Express buys all the products from local stores. This could even increase sales at local stores.

Google Express is not the only service that offers this convenience. AmazonFresh and Instacart offer the same service and will even deliver fresh or frozen groceries. Retailers such as Safeway and WalMart offer same day deliveries for online orders as well.

With this competition, which is sure to increase now that major companies are starting to enter the market, we can expect prices to drop and service to improve and expand to more retailers and products.

Bill Gates is known to have assigned the most tedious and inefficient tasks to lazy employees because they would find the best way to do it, increasing productivity.

Laziness, while generally frowned upon, catalyzes convenience and innovation. I think that out of laziness has come an incredibly valuable and transformative service.

Leisure is good for societies. Historically, societies with the most leisure have also been the most prosperous. I think these growing services are a step in the right direction for ecommerce.