As the world emerges from a global pandemic, retailers are experiencing a recovery not seen in the past two decades.
ABI Research estimates that retail sales will grow 14% in 2021. This is double the 7% increase in 2020. Both periods recorded significant growth compared to the 3.7% annual growth rate from 2010 to 2019.
This is good news. The bad news is that this growth is putting pressure on global supply chains and retail operations. In response, retailers and stakeholders are turning to automation solutions such as mobile robots to simplify operations.
According to ABI Research, global retail store commercial robotics revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 25% from 2022 to 2030, reaching more than $8.4 billion by 2030.
“The retail space continues to adopt a variety of technologies. We can see incoming retail solutions at various points in the retail value chain, such as order fulfillment, in-store inventory checks, coordination between store employees or last-mile delivery. These solutions Scenarios can directly or indirectly impact retailers’ broader supply chain management,” explains Adhish Luitel, Senior Analyst, Supply Chain Management and Logistics, ABI Research.
Technologies such as contactless checkout, in-store mobile robots, wearables and smart carts are gaining traction, with major retailers adopting these incoming solutions to enhance operations and facilitate more streamlined supply chain management. Companies such as Zebra Technologies, Simbe Robotics, and Seoul Robotics have been providing various automation solutions such as wearable computers, handheld devices, LiDAR devices, and in-store robots that can be used for inventory scanning, floor care, or security purposes.
Companies like Mashgin and Cloudpick offer frictionless checkout in stores by combining proprietary computer vision, deep learning, sensor fusion and edge computing technologies.
Luitel commented that the impact of these technologies on a retailer’s broader supply chain management cannot be underestimated, given the clear operational benefits of enhanced customer experience, simplified task/employee management, price management or automated item monitoring. In addition to enabling fast fulfillment/replenishment or automated inventory management, these technologies provide additional data points for precise demand and procurement planning.
“It can also enhance retailers’ omnichannel presence through enhanced communication and synergy, and strengthen partnerships with suppliers, shippers, DC operators and other supply chain stakeholders,” Luitel concluded.
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