The adoption of robotic technology by a previously skeptic population has been one of the most striking developments since the pandemic. The retail industry, in particular, has boosted the advancement of automation, like robotics, resulting in a rapid rollout in the coming years.
COVID-19 has accelerated automation growth and adoption, based on a survey conducted by RetailWire and Brain Corp, an AI firm that develops key technologies in robotics, such as cleaning robots.
Retailers are mostly supportive of robotic technology adoption. Robots are used for several duties such as cleaning the floor and scanning the shelf, and they are selling well in both supermarkets and warehouses.
Among the top findings, 64% of retailers (which includes 77% of major retailers) agree that having a straightforward, achievable, and budgeted robotics automation plan in place by 2021 is important.
Over the next 18 months, almost half of the survey respondents claim they will be participating in the robotics project.
Josh Baylin, Brain Corp’s Senior Director of Strategy, said “The global pandemic brought the value of robotic automation sharply into focus for many retailers, and we now see them accelerating their deployment timelines to reap the advantages now and into the future.”
“Autonomous robots are versatile productivity partners that help keep stores clean, generate additional hours for employees, and help improve in-store customer experiences,” he added.
The extreme emphasis on cleanliness has been one of the major factors of robot adoption since the pandemic. Stores have tightened their cleaning procedures, but the pandemic’s end will leave long-term expectations.
As per the survey, even though vaccines are widely distributed, 72% of respondents do not expect a significant change in customer standards about in-store cleanliness.
The benefit of using robots in warehouses or delivery centers has risen with 73% of major retailers, because of the factors that arose after the pandemic.
While robotic technology in retail has been well-received, RetailWire called the survey’s latest increased adoption trends “surprisingly large” and “stunning.”
According to the report, “In fact, as robotic technology gains a foothold in-store operations, broader benefits are likely to fuel future growth, such as the ability to capture granular, real-time data about products on shelves and customer buying patterns, monitor pricing, and planogram compliance and keep tabs on out-of-stocks.”
“Armed with this kind of data, retailers will be able to discover actionable insights, make smarter decisions, and increase store productivity,” it also noted.