Retail Robots

AI results in premium customer care

Robots are already used for a wide range of functions in retail. An absolute essential when it comes to maintaining inventories, picking orders and cataloguing stock, robots are also increasingly taking a front-of-house position! Today’s robots are advanced enough to not only provide particular services but also to respond to customer queries and requests in a personalised manner. Not only does a robot help provide an engaging novelty to the customer experience, in many cases robots can perform a particular function faster and more accurately than a human member of staff. Take a look at some of the amazing retail shop robots that are helping to transform the retail experience.

Directing customers to the right products

Pioneered in the US by Lowe’s (a major chain of hardware/home improvement supplies providers), the Lowbot is designed to guide customers to the products they’re looking for. Given the difficulties most of us face when trying to navigate large DIY stores, the introduction of a Lowbot is a real bonus! Lowbots have been programmed to “remember” where thousands of different products are, effortlessly leading consumers to the right place! In addition to providing an efficient service, Lowbots also free up staff to deal with more demanding customer care.

Robot delivery is a thing!

Robots aren’t just being utilised in-store, they’re also beginning to play a key role in delivery. Featuring GPS in order to navigate effectively, these robots are able to deliver a variety of goods quickly and efficiently. Some meals-on-wheels schemes are already piloting robotic deliveries, as are Tesco and the Co-op. The Starship robot, constructed by Starship Technologies, has been specifically designed for companies to use as delivery robots. They have the ability to make delivery faster and more efficient, as well as costing less to use than a traditional delivery driver system.

Meet ‘n’ Greet robots

As well as being fantastic for finding things and delivering things, meet ‘n’ greet robots are a great way of providing information and assistance to customers. Often having a humanoid appearance, the robots are programmed to answer the majority of general questions which customers are likely to have. Some also come with a chest screen, which enables the company to give additional information. For busy retail environments, these robots have the capacity to provide an engaging, interactive customer experience, at the same time as ensuring that colleagues have more capacity to deal with other matters which require a human touch!

Will robots take over the retail sector?

In the immediate future, no! Generally, the tasks which robots are able to complete successfully are fairly repetitive and based on predictable behaviour. This makes them ideal for keeping tabs on stock, picking orders, navigating customers to products, delivery services and similar activities where predictability is a feature. Although it’s likely that robots will become more sophisticated as time goes on, at the current time, there are still plenty of retail jobs which require the human touch. Rather than compete with human staff, robots actually enhance their role, taking away some of the mundane tasks so that they can concentrate on ensuring customers have an even better retail experience.