Robotics In Retail – How Zara Uses AI & Robotics to Automate Order Pickup

Robotics in retail industry

Robotics In Retail– How Zara Uses AI & Robotics To Automate Order Pickup

The inventions of automation and robotics in retail have plagued many industries, but especially in the retail industry, its impact is beyond imagination. Robots fed with AI have been performing tasks faster than humans. From supply chain and logistics to back-office operations, store operations, marketing & sales to customer-facing issues, AI Robotics is driving innovation, and helping improve bottom and top-line results.

According to the reports, Robotics automation in the retail industry was estimated at US $19.4 billion in 2018, and it is predicted to reach 144.93 billion US dollars by 2026, increasing at a CAGR of 28.96 % from the year 2019 to 2026.

The major demand for robotic solutions is expected to derive from the retail, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. Especially, most retailers are adopting intelligent AI applications to expand their business prospects.

  • World’s leading retailers like Amazon own 100,000 robots across the globe at its warehouses to the meet demands of orders.
  • Lowe’s has made an in-store robot named ‘LoweBot’ that helps customers with finding products in the store.
  • Walmart deployed around 1500 autonomous shelves-cleaning and floor-cleaning robots in its retail stores.
  • Best Buy has partnered with PaR Systems in order to launch an automated system named ‘Chloe’.

Also Read: Best Examples of Using AI for Retail Experiences
And now,

Artificial Intelligence in Retail Industry

Top Use Cases of Artificial Intelligence in Retail Industry

Today, we would like to discuss how Zara- a top fashion retailer, is using an AI robot for collecting products from the warehouse for customers who ordered products online.  

Zara Introduced AI & Robotics In Retail To Speed Up Online Order Pickup

Zara, a famous fashion retailer, has adopted the BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store) or the Click and Collect concept to improve in-store customer experiences. Consumers can place their orders online, and then reach Zara’s brick-and-mortar store to collect their goods either at the customer service or checkout queue.

A more number of customers have preferred to order online before coming to the store to select their products, and it takes much time to pick up from the queue. To avoid the long lines and cut down the waiting time of customers, Zara is aiming to improve its BOPIS process with automation.

Zara’s robot can pick up 2,400 packages simultaneously.

How Does It Work?

To solve the issue of customers encountering long queues, the retail store is introducing a hi-tech solution for its BOPIS or “Click and Collect” service. Artificial Intelligence Robots will fetch the products’ barcodes, scan them, and pick them up from the warehouse by matching the barcode.

Purchasers who have placed the orders through online can enter their PIN code and scan the bar code at the collection point in-store retail. Then, AI Robot will instantly search for the requested order and get it to checkpoints where the consumers can collect it.

Zara has tested this technology at first at a Spain store near its headquarters, and it has worked most efficiently.

In addition to creating in-store experience retail with AI robots, Zara has also launched a completely digitally enhanced store called ‘Pop-up Store’ in a shopping mall in the UK. The Mall is located at 2,150-square-foot for men’s and women’s clothes and accessories.

Zara also has a retail store located in London’s Westfield Stratford mall will help purchasers collect their online orders. The automated store employees use Smartphones to assist consumers’ purchases. Customers who place orders online before 2.00 PM can have a chance to collect their goods the same day. The remaining customers who place orders after 2.00 PM should wait for the next day to pick up orders and pay through Bluetooth credit cards.

In addition, the Zara automation has offered amazing features like an item recommendation system that functions with a mirror. Consumers can scan their product in at mirror using Radio Frequency Identification, and the system displays other products that pair well with the correct size and chosen outfit.

The 20 Best Examples of Using Artificial Intelligence for Retail Experiences
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Let’s see a few more advantages of robotics in the retail industry

Advantages Of Robotics In The Retail Industry

Though robotics use cases are infinite in the retail sector, here are a few:

  • AI–robots to better manage warehouses
  • In-store retail AI robots for navigating customers across the store and better engaging them
  • Use of Autonomous Mobile Robots in Retail is on the rise for faster checkouts and the generation of auto-invoicing
  • AI-powered inventory levels tracking robots are one of the robotics in retail top trends
  • AI-powered robotic applications using machine learning capabilities will analyze the market conditions and derives valuable insights from sales data.
  • Enhanced productivity is one of the top advantages of robotics in the retail industry
  • AI robots can offer real-time tracking of product movement
  • Streamlined stocking and accurate tagging
  • AI robots with facial and voice recognition features ensure high-level store security and also play a vital role in tracking the in-store customer’s emotions

Like these, robotics use cases in retail are continuously emerging in line with digital market trends. The emergence of robotics in retail industry is also spreading for modernizing supply-chain management and warehouse & distribution operations.

Examples Of Real Industry Applications

We have discussed here a few best examples of real industry applications robotics in retail industry.

  • World’s leading retailer like Amazon has 100,000 robots across the globe at its warehouses to streamline the operations.
  • Lowe’s has made an in-store robot named ‘LoweBot’ that helping customers with finding products in-side the store and improving their shopping experiences.
  • Walmart, A big retailer store, has deployed around 1,500 autonomous shelves-cleaning and floor-cleaning robots in its retail stores.
  • Best Buy has partnered with PaR Systems to launch an automated system named ‘Chloe’.

These are just a few examples of real industry applications of robotics. Many retailers are in plans to introduce the robotic services to transform their functionalities completely to the new digital stage.

Final Words

The impact of robotics in retail industry and emerging AI applications will offer potential benefits and opportunities to retailers. Robots might perform only the assigned tasks but they accomplish tasks faster with zero errors.

In conclusion, I’d like to state that the use of Artificial Intelligence and robotics in retail are on the rise. Retail stores are continuing to incorporate AI tools for better customer engagement and work efficiency.

If you own a retail store and you want help with AI and robotic technology, Contact us.
We would be happy to develop a best-in-class AI retail app!

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