Retail and Automation – Two sides, same coin

April 21st, 2021


The efficient and effective operation of retailers is critical towards ensuring consumers have access to the widest choice of goods at the best prices and receive service consistent with their preferences.

The retail industry was impacted severely by the pandemic, but in 2021 the sector is in a far healthier state than at any other point during the pandemic. That’s because retailers innovated and capitalised on new and evolving trends to delight their customers.

In 2021 retail experts predict that customer retention and loyalty will be of supreme importance in the war for market share.

During the peak of the lockdown, we saw a surge in online sales. With consumers, their shopping preferences can become habitual and social distancing rules and concerns about personal safety will likely lead to sustained online shopping behaviour.

The retail businesses that are leading the way are going down the path of ensuring successful digital transformation. The leaders that are dominating their respective retail markets focus on the 4 key aspects of digital transformation: technology, data, process and organizational change. 

With the spotlight on technology and processes, what should a retail business do to stay competitive? The answer really lies in the smart usage of automation, specifically Robotic Process Automation.

We look at a few key areas that retailers must excel in and why this will be critical to their success.  

Sales Analytics

Sales analytics becomes the key for retailers to make the right decisions – when you use RPA can automate sales analytics by offering data-based, real-time reports on customer preferences and user behaviour related to particular aspects of a product. Utilising these reports, you can analyse why a few customers are phasing out and use this opportunity to retain these users. Further, RPA analytics also helps in forecasting or predictive analysis, which supports stock optimization. 

Store Planning

The old-school, in-store strategy of retail is to arrange the store according to existing customer preferences and requirements. And this is still incredibly relevant. 

For instance, if you shop from a store regularly and the retail owner strategically places products based on your requirements, you are likely to complete the purchase early.

It is a bit like when Amazon magically knows what you want and puts it where you can see them. When the user can find relevant products without much hassle, that is a high selling point.

However, the issue with traditional methods is that it is only possible for human interpreters to consider a few significant factors. This is because the nuances extracted from high-level sales data can’t be analysed by human analysts alone. They need support from technology, which is effectively offered by smart automation.

RPA in the retail sector can help you analyse the organization of your store to fit customer expectations, improve user experience, and boost profits. 

Customer Support & Call Centre Processes

Customer support is the basis of RPA in retail. However, one of the direct applications of automation is offering customer guidance through automated bots, especially if you are an e-commerce retailer, as you can provide all-time support to your users through automation.

From order payments to delivery, your RPA bot can send updates to customers to keep them in the loop. The software bot can also be configured to address simple user queries and take feedback for the sales team.  Retail organizations can save a significant amount of time and money with this critical information.

ERP Management

When activities like billing, price changes, account payables, receivables, and more are automated, it is possible to reduce human efforts to a great extent. Further, when this automated or RPA-powered ERP is integrated into the warehouse, you can seamlessly enhance the efficiency of your inventory management. In simple words, this automation will ensure that you never run out of valuable inventory. 

How do I know if RPA is a good fit for my retail business?

RPA in Retail can help retailers organize complicated organizational tasks, such as compliance and audit regulation. When these activities are automated, employees can spare time for complex and strategic roles. 

Listed below are some of the benefits of automation in retail:

  • Decreased delivery risks
  • Improved compliance
  • Better inventory management
  • Improved application integration
  • Enhanced user support
  • Multi-tasking support
  • Better auditing
  • Optimized operational costs

But in answer to the question, the best way would be to have a chat with us. We can help you understand the fit, as each business does have its own unique set of requirements.

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What are the two key ingredients for successful digital transformation and long-term competitiveness? The simple answer is Robotic Process Automation and Financial Process outsourcing.

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