Supermarkets are turning to automated solutions to help them meet customers’ demands for rapid in-store shopping and delivery. Grocery chain Giant Eagle, for one, recently announced plans to deploy a computer visioning and machine learning system that would enable checkout-free shopping. Other grocery companies, meanwhile, have sought to meet demands for accelerated delivery by making use of fulfillment centers equipped with artificial intelligence tools and robotics for fast order preparation.
The August Automated Retail Tracker examines all the latest ways that supermarkets and other retailers are implementing technologies to provide more robust, high-speed services.
Fast-food chains are also looking to accelerate order preparations. McDonald’s recently began testing robots capable of operating its fryers. The development continues the company’s trend toward automation, which also included the test of an automated system capable of accepting voice orders placed at the drive-thru.
Kodak Moments is also working to advance self-serve retail with a newly launched photo printing kiosk. The devices are designed to give retailers a low-cost, easily scalable way to provide photo services in-store.
The trial of The Fitting Room, an omnichannel retail store that provided a self-serve kiosk for placing shoe and clothing orders alongside physical apparel items for try-on, appeared to produce positive outcomes for businesses. Fashion retailers that had tested selling products through the omnichannel concept last year recently reported that this sales channel resulted in reduced return rates and improved sales.
For all the latest headlines, download the Tracker.
How Remotely Adjustable Interactive Kiosks Power Sales
Interactive kiosks offer valuable opportunities for retailers to serve customers without requiring designated staff or significant floor space. These solutions lose much of their impact should the retailers’ offerings change or customers’ needs shift, however. Keeping kiosks relevant requires loading software that can be remotely managed to alter the machines’ functions based on season, time of day and more, according to Bhushan Mehendale, vice president of engineering at kiosk app development and management platform provider Esper.
In this month’s feature story, Mehendale explains the need for remote kiosk management and the ways that such devices are increasingly capable of supporting businesses.
Get the full story in the Tracker.
Deep Dive: How Buy Online, Pickup In Store Helps Retailers Compete Against Delivery Giants
Generation Z consumers want their items even faster than most delivery services can offer. The buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) retail model is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for retailers in their quests to please these consumers by furnishing items within hours of the products being purchased online. BOPIS is also helping retailers capture business from rural customers and busy professionals. This month’s Deep Dive explores how automated BOPIS solutions such as order pickup towers can help stores better compete against eCommerce merchants and marketplaces.
Read more in the Tracker.
About the Tracker
The Automated Retail Tracker, powered by Worldnet Payments, serves as a bimonthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent news and trends, as well as a directory highlighting the key players contributing to the segments that comprise the expansive automated retail ecosystem.