Amazon amplifying retail store automation experience across USA
No doubts, the arrival of technology has made our lives easier. Capitalising on the influx, retailers across the globe have started focusing more on the technology part, and store automation has emerged as the major focus area for them as they’re trying to thwart e-retailers like Amazon from dominating the physical retail world with its advanced Go stores. The automation of the retail stores is also aimed to minimise both labour
costs and shoppers’ inconvenience while waiting for cashiers and the filling of empty shelves.
The use of robots in stores is reportedly under the testing phase to keep an eye if shelves are stocked or not. Various retailers are making efforts to make the use of apps which will notify them about the availability of items in their stores on their smartphones. According to Martin Hitch, Chief Business Officer of Bossa Nova Robotics, a company
that makes inventory management robots that Walmart and others are testing out, reportedly said that it is an element of mortification as an online retailer is showing them how to do brick and mortar. Notably, Walmart recently opted for drones as well to make deliveries of its products. Well, Amazon Go has already fully automated the checkout process, to enhance the shopping experience of customers at its stores. Before the arrival of
Amazon Go, other kinds of facilities like self-checkout kiosks were present in the supermarkets earlier as well. Sensors and predictive analytics tools, to better anticipate when more cashiers will be needed, are also being used at retail spaces. So, it is not like that retailers are focusing on this trend now, the only thing is that the agenda has changed, which is now more on making savings and to take on Amazon which is becoming huge in the US. However, the automation of stores has made the workforces apprehensive about job loss.
The World Economic Forum also stated last year that technological advancements would take a toll on around 30 to 50% of retail jobs across the world. Also, the constant monitoring of customers in stores has also raised concerns over privacy as the retailers get to know more about the shopper’s behaviour/buying habits as they digitise their locations. It remains to be seen if robots will make it better for the customers to shop at physical stores who are currently used to of human assistance.