The future of eCommerce is robots, and while these robots might not be as theatrical as robots portrayed in movies and on television, they are just as revolutionary. From software bots that help eCommerce companies run smoothly to interactive robots that increase customer satisfaction, some robots have already begun to influence our daily lives. In the realm of eCommerce, robot take over is already evident, transforming eCommerce companies’ ability to produce, distribute, and deliver goods.
Here are a few ways in which robots are already influencing modern retail:
Software bots, while often overlooked by consumers, work behind the scenes to help ensure that customers have a positive shopping experience. Target recently rolled out software bots that run automatically and fix software issues before they impact shopping or online checkout experience. Bots like the ones used by Target are beneficial because they keep customers satisfied and prevent them from having to make a purchase elsewhere due to an IT error.
Over 2,000 companies use Pepper, an interactive, humanoid robot that greets and engages with customers. Companies that have used Pepper have reported significant boosts in traffic and revenue. While this bot has only been used in-store, it’s high success rate might lead eCommerce retailers to create similar software to increase customer engagement online.
Some companies have already incorporated robotics into their warehouses. Companies like Amazon use Kiva robots in their warehouses to aid with organization and distribution. These mobile drones lift and move pods across warehouses using sensors and cloud servers to receive and obey commands. By moving these pods, some of which weigh over a thousand pounds, these robots speed up the distribution process and drastically improves order fulfillment.
Robots are also used to search for and retrieve products and complete other duties typically done by warehouse workers. As technology continues to improve, warehouses might be autonomous and look completely different than they do now just a few years down the road.
Some eCommerce companies have tested mobile robot delivery systems. One of China’s largest eCommerce companies, JD.com, has successfully used robots to make deliveries. These robots can carry multiple packages at once, and they are designed to chart out and take the shortest route from the warehouse to the customer. Richard Liu, CEO of JD.com has seen the benefits of automation and robots and aims to have a 100% robot workforce in the future. Robots like these are able to help reduce delivery time and delivery costs, which is a tremendous advantage for eCommerce companies.
While integrating this technology into the consumers’ every day life is still a few years away, many people developments that can change the world of eCommerce are on the horizon. In the upcoming years, we can expect more innovations to help accelerate delivery and distribution. Here are a couple of advancements we can expect in the future and how this technology can help eCommerce businesses:
Right now, several companies like Walmart and Amazon are developing drones through programs like Amazon Prime Air that can deliver food and packages by air in a matter of minutes. Delivery drones will completely transform the delivery process, allowing consumers to receive their orders quickly and efficiently.
Automated Delivery Vehicles
Staying on the cutting edge of pizza delivery, Domino's has been developing their Domino’s Robotic Unit, capable of delivering pizza to customers in record time. The creation of robotic units like this one demonstrate just how significantly eCommerce can change in the next few years. Technology like this will help eCommerce companies fulfill and deliver orders to consumers while reducing labor and delivery costs.
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