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Date added: 10/28/2016 Robots in Retail Stores - A Better Customer Experience

Apparently, robots have transformed beyond the realm of traditional tasks such as assembling automobile parts in the manufacturing and automobile sectors. From healthcare to the military and retail, it's true that robots have gradually become helpful, offering unique abilities.

When incorporated into the other digital forces such as analytics and the cloud, these ubiquitous devices may have a positive effect across the retail sector value chain.

The Robots' Impact on the Retail Sector

Robots have the potential to play a huge role in the retail value chain. This article examines some of the possible cases in different areas, including:

  • Customer assistance

  • Employee assistance

  • Compliance audits.

Customer Assistance Roles

The deployment of the robotic carts: Moving up and down through the aisles looking for the right item has always been a major pain point for customers.

With the deployment of the robotic shopping cart, shoppers can be guided efficiently to the targeted aisle. Robots can additionally function as an auto-checkout as customers add products to the cart.

Offering personalized engagement: In retail fashion stores, robots can act as shop assistants by inferring personal dislikes and likes from non-verbal expressions including gestures, facial expressions, and customers’ body language. Such information may be augmented, typically by scanning the clients’ physical characteristics such as eye and hair color, skin tone and height. The multilingual robot may then recommend off the shelf products based on the clients’ budget, personal attributes, and previous purchase history.

Delivering value-added service: In most instances, large retailers often have separate counters for in-demand services. Robots can be deployed to offer a variety of value-added services including gift-wrapping, currency exchange, cost comparisons, plus the dispensation of loyalty coupons. With robotic devices covering most of the tedious tasks, store workers can now dwell on serving clients at the checkout counters.

Employee Assistance

Enhancing quicker fulfillment: Robotic devices can also be used at retail stores for the quicker realization of internet orders, notably during the holiday seasons and peak hours. As a matter of fact, store staff always spend lots of hours making trips to the retail outlet inventory, locating items ready for pickup, putting them inside the cart, and so on. A robotic device can successfully handle all these tasks for a much faster fulfillment.

Compliance Audits and Regular Checks

Mitigating theft and shrinkage: In the United States alone, it has been proven that retailers lose $54 billion on average sales through shrink annually. If surveillance robots are deployed at these stores, they will aid in curbing suspicious activities. They have the unmatched potential of capturing the trespassers' images and send them to the concerned authorities to help eliminate pilferage.

Minimization of out-of-shelf incidences: More than twenty-five percent of out of stock items are found in the warehouse, but not on the correct shelf. These devices can be used to monitor the retail store continuously and capture the images of products and aisles, and send details to the central system for misplaced products, low stock situations, and empty shelves. Robots can also be used to replenish the shelves automatically. Use Shelf Dividers to clearly separate the items from each other.

The Bottom Line

It is evident that retail store owners must embrace the emergence of robots together with their potential benefits. The use of robotic devices will significantly enhance the experience of the customers, apart from improving the productivity of the business owners.

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