So What Does Automated Retail Mean?

“Automated Retail” has a range of meanings. For some who market “Automated Retail solutions”, their offerings are characterized by surprising inflexibilities, extremely limited product dispensability options, and a clumsy, labor-intensive process. To Cereson, Automated Retailing is something very different.

On the consumer-facing side, Automated Retailing refers to robotic stores that combine advanced technology robotics and software systems to create easy-to-use and compelling self-service retail stores ideal for marketing, explaining and selling high-value items and/or products requiring delivery of helpful, educational, product-specific information.

 

To our retail partners and customers, Automated Retailing is a strategic and tactical solution addressing a range of objectives. It’s a system solution able to integrate with the Retailer’s existing backend systems- not an island application that can only push data. It also includes web-based, dashboard tools that enable monitoring, reporting, exception-based notifications, and remote management. It’s a sophisticated, turnkey retailing system.

Some obvious factors have driven the surge in Automated Retail applications:

Relentless pressure to cut costs.
Robotic stores eliminate labor, construction, real estate, and
   management costs.

Shrinkage
Shrinkage is a growing problem. Robotic stores prevent theft. The
   alternative behind-the-counter tactic is costly in labor and still
   allows for potential employee theft.

24 x 7 expert information and attention
No employee training costs. No variability in employee knowledge or attitude.    “Virtual attendant” always available. Employee turnover not a problem.

Small footprint, low launch and operating cost
Create retail presence, branding and sales where
   otherwise impossible.
Investment matched to site traffic / retail opportunity
Satisfies demand for market penetration and increasing
   store fronts without having to pay for “4 walls and a roof”.

Merchandising
“Point of influence and intercept” merchandising at high traffic
   locations beneficial for branding and sales.

 

Some product categories and brands that launched in non-traditional channels:

Robotic stores on military bases and in airports.

Anti-theft / shrinkage solutions.

Product sales benefitted from expert information availability.
    (Not reliant on sales person being knowledgeable.)

Brand extension strategy. Major brand robotic stores for point of
   influence and intercept merchandising and branding. Sales
   revenue offsets branding cost.

Point of influence and intercept retail. Take the store to the
   consumer vs. try to get the consumer to visit the store. Location
   examples: airports, grocery stores, college campuses and
   department stores.

Tool crib- Employees using employee IDs to procure needed
   equipment, supplies.

Any retail opportunity where reduction of store traffic requirements and other    overhead expenses could enable profit viability.