How Robots Are Helping Retail Stores

Robots are slowly entering the public world, and they’re out to interact with business owners and customers alike. Retail is one of the arenas where they are poised to make huge changes and benefits. Here are some ways that robots are assisting retail stores to be bigger and better, from answering customer inquiries to locating items to delivering them on time.

Image source: LowesInnovationLabs.com

Customer service
Bots are widely used in retail for performing customer service duties on the phone or online. They’re powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and are increasingly being designed to deal with complex queries. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s, for instance, introduced its LoweBot in 2016 at its San Francisco stores to help customers find goods they’re looking for, much like a rolling kiosk looking up products and other information.

Product retrieval
Robots can manually fetch wares inside stores and hand them over to the customers. Best Buy in Manhattan, for example, has robot Chloe to pick up accessories based on orders lined up on nine touch screens inside the shop.

Warehousing
Bots are also part of the production process, organizing goods in an advanced, highly efficient way but with the required careful handling. These automated warehouses serve both the retail side and the business-to-business needs of the establishment.

Data analysis
A handful of companies today use cloud-based technologies and swam robotics for collecting orders and making sense of all relevant data in real-time. It’s machine learning-based analytics being employed to analyze data and see how the business can be improved.

Image source: BusinessInsider.com

James P DeVellis is an IT consultant. On most days, he gets to test and try programs, platforms, and gadgets before they are presented to the public. Learn more on this page.

How technology has affected today’s consumer

When you look at how business transactions were done in the 1990s and compare them to how they’re made today, one huge factor stands as the difference-maker – technology, more specifically, online sales.

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                                       Image source: technofaq.org

To be fair to history, it was already possible to order a product via phone or mail or fax before the internet came along. But as the world wide web developed and more business establishments adopted and incorporated online sales into their operations, buying and selling as we knew it changed completely.

Perhaps the most prevalent reason for the popularity of online sales is the convenience if affords consumers. No longer do people have to go out of their homes, brave heavy traffic, walk through shopping malls, and line up at the cashier to get a single item. Nowadays, it can all be done with a couple of swipes and a few taps.

And while shipping costs may add to the total bill, let it be known that a lot of the products people are buying online come straight from manufacturers and are getting them at manufacturer’s price. Online stores also have lots of promos, deals, and discounts. Now, think of that and factor in the price of gas and parking fees and the time you use up to get an item in the nearest mall. Overall, online shopping is cheaper.

All these advantages and we haven’t even gotten to the wide array of selection yet. Online stores have almost everything a consumer wants. If an item isn’t available on one site, the consumer can always go to another online shop.

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                                                       Image source: bgr.in

Hi! I’m James P. DeVellis. I work for a tech company and answer a lot of IT queries. I’m starting my own social media platform and hope to take all of you along. Follow me on Twitter for everything IT.