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Robots are transforming the retail industry.

For retailers who want to keep a competitive edge in the market, AI-powered automation and robotics are a business necessity.

The retail industry is evolving. Retailers are utilizing cutting-edge technologies in today's fiercely competitive environment to increase efficiency and successfully manage their businesses.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the retail sector has changed how companies interact with customers, customize marketing campaigns, and handle inventory. Additionally, this strategy aids in reducing waste and ineffective business practices.

MarketWatch estimates that by the end of 2024, the global retail automation market could be worth up to $23.1 billion, up from its $8.96 billion valuation in 2016. Furthermore, by 2031, the market for AI robots is anticipated to be worth $ 52.63 billion.

Therefore, for retailers who want to keep a competitive edge in the market, AI-powered automation and robotics are a business necessity.

Retail automation has the potential to enhance consumer interactions and increase sales. This does not imply that people will be replaced by robots, though. They will instead cooperate effectively to achieve their goals.

Together, people and retail robots can address four major problems in the retail sector:

1. Data analytics challenges

Smart algorithms are significantly more effective at gathering, processing, and analyzing massive amounts of data from various sources in real-time (a feat that will always be unmatched by human counterparts). Additionally, it's the only method for gathering and processing data in real time for analytics. As this practice spreads, people who collaborate with robots at work will earn more (than those who don't). Similarly, companies that use this strategy will see the highest return on their investment.

2. Pricing (human) errors

The majority of the time, the goals and procedures of the digital and physical commerce channels are different. Even though running each of them as a separate business unit might seem simpler, doing so frequently leads to increased complexity and on-shelf pricing errors. For brick-and-mortar retailers, replicating the online shopping experience is getting harder.

Price differences between online and physical stores frequently result from human error, incorrect data entry and update, unapplied promotions or discounts, and various factors unique to the company, location, etc. Even if online retail grows exponentially, brick-and-mortar retailers are here to stay. However, given that up to 73% of customers claimed that customer experiences influence purchasing behavior, they must work to eliminate any potential mistakes brought on by human error to remain competitive.

By informing staff of price discrepancies, retail automation can help solve this problem quickly. This strategy guarantees seamless and improved shopping experiences for offline customers. AI-powered robots quickly notify staff of missing items and products by scanning shelves in real time.

3. Inventory management and supply chain challenges

Retail automation maintains pricing accuracy and assists in preventing possible stockout situations. Stockouts result in decreased customer loyalty increased operational costs, and labor costs (as more staff are required to perform inventory tasks).

With the help of retail automation, customers are always satisfied, and shelves are always stocked. In addition, retailers can reconsider their outdated supply chains and swiftly modify their stock levels to meet customer demand by analyzing in-store data in real time while considering outside factors and previous purchasing patterns.

4. Brand compliance

Special requirements may be included in some vendor-retailer contracts, particularly regarding placing particular products in a store. In this situation, retail automation can assist in quickly identifying inconsistent product placement to guarantee brand adherence.

Robots, such as the Effective Retail Intelligent Scanner, or ERIS, are required to accurately and quickly scan every item in warehouses and retail establishments. However, it might take days or even weeks to physically try to take stock, check price tags for mistakes, and look for lost items.

In contrast, ERIS with human operators can efficiently scan the entire facility to find errors and anomalies in a matter of minutes (depending on the size of the establishment and the number of products available on-premises).

By gathering precise pricing and inventory data that marketing and supply chain management teams can use, this strategy helps to maximize worker efficiency and facilitates data-driven decisions.

With solutions like ERIS, potential sales aren't lost to pricing errors or stockouts. Customer loyalty, satisfaction, and other factors will complement the return on investment. Since a human operator is always on duty, they immediately address potential issues. This method reduces the possibility of misunderstandings and offers the chance to escalate problems.

By taking over the laborious and time-consuming task of finding pricing errors and effectively managing stock, ERIS can also help boost employee morale. ERIS is doing the majority of the heavy lifting, even though a human employee will collaborate with the intelligent robot.

The adoption of retail automation technologies is still being hampered by preconceived notions that AI will eventually replace humans. However, retail robots make life a little easier for human coworkers in the same way that chatbots assist customer service agents by quickly processing simple queries.

Retail automation is the new frontier. It will support companies in maintaining business relevance, improving customer engagement, inventory optimization, and pricing accuracy.



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