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Robotics is the new wave in Retail

Published on 20 September 18

Many industries from all over the world are now using or introducing robotics to help with operations. The retail business too is catching in on the act with many of them using robotics to do almost half of the work. Robots in retail stores are now helping clients with directions to locate whatever they want, taking shelf inventories and even acting as customer care operators. One of the leading manufacturers of robotics, Universal Robots, is on the forefront of providing some of the best and safest cobots to the retail industry.

With over 30% of stores worldwide introducing the use of robots in their retail businesses, there is still that question of whether robotics can much up the work done by humans especially in customer care services. People or shoppers need a user-friendly atmosphere when shopping. They need to see happy humans serving them and answering their questions. Friendly staff in any establishment attracts more customers. The worry for most people is that robotics working side by side with humans may compromise the stores relationship with the customers. Storeowners therefore have a duty to strike a balance between using robotics and maintaining a human touch to majority of the activities in the store.

What can the robots do in retail stores?

Because many of the customers may not go ahead and accept the services of robotics in stores, retailers take different approaches to incorporate robots in such a way that the customers gradually get used to them. They use operational and direct interaction approaches. In direct interaction, robots and customers interact directly. The robots are programmed to carry out many activities that humans do to make a customer feel welcome and satisfied. These are things like giving directions to the customers, helping them locate items from the shelves, take selfies and answer questions. This trend is already in Japan and many other retail shops from many other parts of the world are trying it out.

In the operational approach, retail owners use robotics to help their customers with tasks that may seem hard for them. The robots make the tasks much easier to achieve and this is one way of gaining and doing away with the fear of robotic help in retail stores. Some of the operational tasks that robotics take over in the store are helping the store customers to reach out for items that are hard to reach and helping with process of checking out especially when there is heavy shopping traffic.

Several stores are also using robots to help with online ordering processes. One such case is Wal-Mart. Customers can now place their orders, have their orders placed into a tower and then receive coded text messages informing them that their orders are ready. From there, all the customer does is plug the code number into an apparatus provided by the store and receives their orders.

Another activity that is making shopping both easy and an exciting experience in retail stores is the use of robotic self-driving shopping carts. Wal-Mart is in the forefront of using a motorised device that attaches to the shopping cart. Customers only need a smartphone to summon the robot and from there it does everything the customer wants. These robots have special sensors that help them to navigate the aisles making it easy for customers to find their products.

Technology has even gone further to make some of the robots bi-lingual. This is a big step to the retail industry because now if a store attracts a large number of people that speak a particular language, the robots can easily respond in their language without involving the humans. This also cuts down on the cost of hiring interpreters.

Wrapping it up

Universal Robots manufactures the safest collaborative robots in the market today. They use the trendiest technology that makes the robots both flexible and easy to interact with in various processes in the store. Some of the robots are small and do not occupy much space. They do not interfere with humans during any processes but work together with them. They not only make work easier but they are fun to work alongside with to both the staff and the customers.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations Community

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