Retailers In-Store Robot Use

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Suman Bhattacharyya at Digiday recently posted an article regarding some retailers’ use of robots in their stores.  Here is a synopsis of what he had to say about the use of the advanced technology:

Many store locations also take care of the e-commerce aspect of the company, and so some retailers have started using robots to assist in the order filling.  Not all work has been moved to robot-labor, but the robots have taken over the smaller, more menial jobs.

By off-loading some of this labor to the robots, the employees have more time to commit to customer service and improving the customer experience over all.  With more hands on deck, whether person or machine, there is a higher likelihood that products will remain stocked and customer orders will be fulfilled correctly.

There are not very high occurrences of retailer locations using these robots yet; they are still in the earlier stages of integrating this technology.  The stores do not aim to eliminate positions for the employees, they just want to bolster the effectiveness of the company in satisfying customer expectations.  As great as this sounds, there are also some challenges with using robots. For one, robots work based on how they are programmed. During times of heavy customer foot traffic, there may be too many unexpected obstacles in the way of their routes and jobs.  Also, the author points out how seeing a robot in the store with you while you are shopping may change the customer experience; this is not something that is necessarily wanted. For this reason, some feel it is better to utilize the robots at night time, or at slow times of day.  

For more information on retailers’ use of robots in-store, read the full article here: https://digiday.com/retail/retailers-testing-store-robots-support-fulfillment-operations/

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