Robotics, AI and Retail: 3 Ways Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are Revolutionizing the Retail Industry
If you watch any Sci-Fi movie or television series from the last several decades, there is a long-standing promise of Robotics and AI being employed for the betterment of mankind. While most of the concepts usually end in disaster, Robotic Automation and Artificial Intelligence are now working within the Retail and Distribution Industry to create previously unseen efficiency and productivity.
The last decade in the Retail Industry has been one of constant evolution and change; this change being brought about technological advancements that seem to occur on a weekly, if not a daily, basis. The smartphone, as we examined in our article M-Commerce Revolution, has brought the greatest pressures for change from without, forcing the Retail Industry to adapt and respond to consumer requirements and needs. Here are three ways Robotics and AI are helping to revolutionize the Retail Industry, and bring about the Omni channel Paradise consumers want:
Supply Chain Automation:
If there’s one constant in the Retail Industry for the last decade, is the speed to market which consumers want most. E-Commerce was groundbreaking for the Industry, and has been growing at double-digit speed for the last two decades; sped up for the last five to six years, due to the always-on, mobile-enabled consumer. In order to gain efficiencies in supply chain, retailers have turned to robotic automation. From robotic manufacturing, smart technologies like warehouse conveyors, robotics for picking, packing and shipping, and even to self-driving and autonomous delivery methods.
Analytics & Artificial Intelligence:
As reliance on computers in the Retail Industry grew, so did the sheer amount of data. In order to deliver on the relevance and personalization consumers are claiming to want, retailers are turning to big data, analyzed by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to curate personalized shopping experiences, deliver on truly relevant offerings through marketing, and to create unique experiences in-store.
There is a double-edged sword to these breakthroughs, as they require access to consumer data, and privacy has become a major concern through countless numbers of data breaches at retail and financial organizations. To create truly personal and relevant experiences, both online and in-store, retailers need to be able to regain the trust with their customers, as without it these breakthroughs in technology cannot be beneficial.
In-Store Robotics & Automation:
There are now many iterations of examples of robotics in-store, from the now infamous Pepper greeting customers in multiple languages, to robots that manage the daily inventory tasks to ensure floor stock levels and signage are correct, to now fully automated locations where consumers can enter, shop and checkout without human intervention; all helping to create a frictionless and satisfying in-store shopping experience.
The Retail Industry is in a state of evolution, and no one truly knows the state it will take in the end. Despite the meteoric rise of both Electronic and Mobile Commerce, Brick-and-Mortar retail is still the heavyweight, claiming around 90% of all Retail Sales in the U.S.
Despite the rise in Retail Bankruptcies over the past few years, and all the change being wrought on the Industry as a whole, Robotics and AI are not replacing humans in the workforce, but rather assisting and helping to evolve their job descriptions and duties.
For over a decade, A2R has been tracking the continual changes in the retail industry, and assisting our clients to employ advantageous technologies to increase their efficiency and productivity, to lower costs and maximize on revenues. To learn more about how Advantage2Retail can assist your organization, please visit us at a2r.ca