Ama­zon am­pli­fy­ing re­tail store au­to­ma­tion ex­pe­ri­ence across USA

Apparel Online - - Retail Current -

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.

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