Customer satisfaction, ever-evolving user demands, faster delivery, after-sales support, and the shift towards a smooth e-commerce experience have become the norm in the retail industry over the last few years. Yet these challenges cannot be solved only by meeting customer demands. To remain sustainable in this highly competitive industry, retailers need to think of novel ways to efficiently manage back-end processes and a large volume of fast-moving goods and other products. Therefore, many retailers are pivoting towards automation. As retail converges with the consumer product industry, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is touted as the go-to solution for solving these problems. Automation ideas in the retail industry are endless, and in this blog, we’ll try to uncover some of them. 

Looking beyond the obvious benefits of RPA (cost reduction and higher productivity), retailers are increasingly implementing this technology to help with several mundane and repetitive tasks and analyze data with superior speed, accuracy, and consistency. Before we dive deeper into a few automation ideas in the retail industry, let’s look at some of the current challenges.

Challenges In the Retail Industry

Retail has traditionally been a human-dependent industry. That is why enterprise resource planning was considered a game-changer when it was introduced a few decades ago. It helped businesses manage several facets on a single platform. However, with changing consumer expectations, ERP alone isn’t enough. Relying on cumbersome solutions and manual effort leads to delays, errors, and dissatisfied customers. 

Add to this, the recent pandemic has tested companies’ ability to make products available in the market according to fluctuating demands with a minimal workforce. Arranging for erratic market demands and manually processing invoices are a logistical nightmare many retailers have already experienced. The retail industry also generates a lot of data that needs to be analyzed for sustained growth and understanding the upcoming marketing trends. Let’s see some automation ideas in the retail industry that can help overcome these problems. 

5 Automation Ideas In The Retail Industry 

There are plenty of automation ideas in the retail industry. Some of these include: 

Sales analytics: 

RPA bots can be deployed to quickly analyze factors that influence a product sale, the number of sales in various locations, user preferences based on gender, location, age, etc. RPA can provide real-time insights to help retailers make business decisions, which eventually increases product sales.

ERP management: 

ERP is a key tool to manage billing, price changes, employee vacancies, and other activities that need to create reports on accounts payable and receivable. However, most of these activities require human effort. When RPA is used, these activities are automated, allowing team members to only handle exceptions and devote most of their time on increasing customer satisfaction. With RPA, staff can drastically reduce manual effort and improve inventory management, leading to quicker payment processing and product shipping as well as streamlined debt collection.

Automation ideas in the retail industry

Product launch management:

Launching a new product involves a close collaboration between manufacturing, R&D, and marketing departments. RPA bots streamline communication between various departments until the product launch. Its integration capabilities ensure that retailers can change pricing, stock, and production based on their customer’s preferences.

Also Read: Put bots to work for public safety

Supply chain and logistics:

The foundation of successful retail enterprises is an efficient supply chain and logistics management, which involves several critical activities such as shipment tracking, customer support, product returns, and inventory monitoring. RPA bots can be implemented in managing the supply chain and logistics to reduce human labor and further improve collaboration between distributors, suppliers, and customers.

Customer support management: 

A 24×7 customer support is essential for any company regardless of the industry it operates in. For retail, AI-enabled bots are critical to grow and retain customers. RPA bots offer a superior, hassle-free shopping experience by recommending products based on their previous purchases or preferences and assisting them in deliverables and payments. 

Read other use cases of RPA in supply chain management.

Benefits of RPA in Retail 

  • Accurately predict market trends before and after product launch.
  • Monitoring product sales with real-time analysis.
  • Faster invoice processing.
  • 24/7 support available to customers.
  • Higher compliance levels.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Better application integrations.

Read how a leading retailer was able to improve its ROI by 50%.

Let’s connect

We hope these automation ideas in the retail industry will help you embark on your digital transformation journey. Retail automation combined with process re-engineering can transform how your business grows. Over the years, Nuummite Consulting has helped clients reach process perfection with process redesign and the right technology, saving thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars.

Get in touch today to successfully implement RPA programs for your business.