/The Future: What AI and Robotics Mean for Sellers

The Future: What AI and Robotics Mean for Sellers
Feb 20, 2024 5 min read

The Future: What AI and Robotics Mean for Sellers

Dillon Carter
Dillon Carter
Co-Founder, COO at Aura

Back in December 2018, I shared my thoughts on how selling on Amazon might change. I talked about how new tech in automation and robots could help sellers do a lot more with less effort. The tech I mentioned is possible today, but not many people are using it yet. William Gibson once said, "The future is already here, it's just not evenly spread out."

These days, it's hard to think about selling without using some kind of software. But what's next?

Things started to really change in 2023 when artificial intelligence, or AI, began to play a big role. This led to a lot of money being invested into new AI-based startups. This investment leads to new ideas and research. From AI assistants to robotics, everything is on the table.

Keeping up with my hopeful look at the future, here's an update to my 2018 post.

From virtual to AI assistants

When you want to grow as a seller, you mainly look at two things: how much you can spend and how fast you can spend it. Capital and labor. Sellers often hire virtual assistants to help with and scale sourcing products. They also help sellers outsource smaller admin tasks.

This will change. We'll shift towards using AI-based agents, which are like supercharged versions of ChatGPT. AI-based agents are more complex AI's that can complete tasks with minimal human input.

Virtual assistants really just move information around on the internet. Agents are getting really good at these types of tasks. For instance, many companies/groups are developing AI-based web scraping software. Rather than writing hard-coded scrapers, which are time-consuming and often break, the AI is trained to use websites. Because of this advancement, it will be possible to have AI sourcing products for you and checking its profitability on multiple channels.

Here's a few incredible examples of companies working on agents:

Any task your virtual assistants are doing an AI agent will be able to do better, cheaper, and faster. Keep in mind this isn't a 10 year prediction, but a 2-3 year one.

Robots Transforming Prep Centers

Scaling as a seller can be tough, especially when it comes to the nitty-gritty physical work involved. That's where prep centers come in handy. They take the load off by handling all the prep work for you, so you don't have to worry about the physical side of things.

But what if we could take this a step further with humanoid robotics?

Right now, one big challenge with prep centers is the need for human labor. Packing, labeling, and sorting – it's all pretty hands-on. And let's be honest, warehouse work isn't exactly everyone's dream job. It can be repetitive and, at times, risky, leading to injuries.

While it might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, humanoid robots are actually becoming a real thing. Companies like Tesla and Figure are at the forefront, creating robots meant to work just like us, but in places like warehouses.

The best part? These robots might soon be available for less than $100,000 each. Think about it: if you could use them for around 20 hours a day over five years, the cost of physical labor could drop to around $20 a day.

These robots could revolutionize prep centers by doing everything a human can, but without the breaks or risks of injury. They can pack boxes, stick on labels, and sort products with precision and speed. This isn't just about cutting costs; it's about creating a safer, more efficient prep process that can easily grow with your business.

With the potential to work tirelessly and handle tasks with incredible accuracy, these robots could be the future of prep centers. Imagine a world where your products are packed and shipped by a team of tireless, efficient robots, making your business more productive than ever. That future is closer than you think, and it's an exciting prospect for any seller looking to scale up.

Wrapping up

Change isn't just coming to the Amazon world; it's already here, and it's bringing AI and robots with it.

We're stepping into the future we dreamed about, where tech helps us do more and makes things easier. It's a big moment for all of us selling on Amazon. We need to be ready to learn, adapt, and think ahead.

New tech like AI and robots? They're tools for us to reach higher. But it's on us to grab them and start climbing. Staying up-to-date and open to trying out these tools will help us steer through the changes ahead.

William Gibson was right—the future is already here. Now, it's our job to make it work for everyone, to take hold of these changes and use them to shape the world of online selling. I'm excited about what's next and I hope you are too.

Industry insights you won't delete, delivered to your inbox