Smart stores: the future is here

The retail sector is in the midst of a transition. To continue in the retail game, it is key that the players understand what steps to take in this process. The consumer has changed, their behavior has changed and the stores will necessarily have to follow suit.

Retail companies have been the most impacted by the innovation. Technology is no longer a complement but a need, driven mainly by new consumer behavior.
In this new setting, time has become a coveted and scarce currency, which is why saving minutes at the point of sale and for the purchase and payment transactions is essential.

Consumer behavior has shifted, and therefore, retailers must adapt to find new ways to engage and serve their clients. Obtaining the right combination of digital channels will create plenty of opportunities to promote commitment and growth.

At the store, at the warehouse or when delivering products, it is necessary to guarantee the implementation of security measures to protect clients, employees and suppliers. The customer experience also must adapt, making clients feel safe, thus restoring their trust and bringing them back into the bricks-and-mortar stores.

Although the retail industry has been one of the most hit in the past few years, it also has the most potential to reinvent itself. The physical shops are far from disappearing, yet they need another format. They must become smaller, specialized and with some level of automation that saves time, cuts costs and appeals to the user. Even the most innovative enterprises in the world are claiming a spot in the physical domain.

How will the physical store model evolve? There are several concepts that have taken center stage. For instance, Dark Stores, sites created to prepare and send orders placed at the online store. Its layout is the same as any regular store, but there are no customers, no cashiers, no advertising or promotional material. Another example is Drive-Throughs, a point to pick up items from the comfort of your car. There are also Intelligent Lockers, a pick-up system or designated delivery spot located in high traffic areas; or Click-and-Collect system or contactless, to name a few. The list goes on but the current consumer keeps demanding more and more.
Offering high-quality service will make a difference. In order to meet that need, robotics, artificial intelligence and biometrics will accelerate processes, reduce costs, and boost productivity.

Retailers will have to try their hand at innovation, thinking about a more integrated future. They must become more agile intelligent companies, finding partners to apply the latest supply chain technologies and optimization tools with the aim of streamlining processes and satisfying the demand of the omni-channel client. As a result, they will gain competitive advantage from the first to the last miles and all throughout the supply chain, an essential weapon in the customer experience. To gain that competitive edge, retailers will need to invest in modern commercial strategies and market leader technologies. As technology integrates more and more with omni-channel retail commerce, retailers will need to show clients why it is worth visiting their stores and truly elevate their experience.

Retail as an experience: the only way to survive

The context has simply sped up what had already been taking shape. Against this background, intelligent stores represent a solution to the issues that the industry has been facing for years at a global scale. To a high percentage of the population, automation can help smooth out uncomfortable aspects in their in-store experience, like making long lines at the cashier’s or the difficulty to find products available at the store or out-of-stock. And it will be much better if they can reach 100% automation.
Ground-breaking retail solutions, much like smart kiosks and automated boutiques, provide customers with a new and exciting way to access products. For the companies, this technology would mean lower costs to get the business off the ground, access to key information about client’s needs and expectations, and loyal customer identification.

We are on the verge of something new. EVA Robotics & Retail has arrived as the protagonist of this foundational moment for the retail industry. It is a time when omni-channels are non-negotiable and technology will generate relevant impact on the business operations.
“Retail must be an experience or it will not survive at all,” says Willie Morro, CEO & Founder of the company. “EVA is an active protagonist in this transformation.”
According to Morro, “the world is changing at a very fast pace. EVA develops robotic solutions that clients need to rise above the changing context and take advantage of the opportunities to grow and thrive.”

To survive the exponential growth of e-commerce, retail must undergo a reinvention. The shopping experience cannot be what it used to be anymore. While it is true that e-commerce allows shoppers to find an item they are looking for in a fast and effective way, the physical store provides clients with a space to interact with the product in real life, helping brands connect with their clients, building and consolidating long-term relationships.
EVA Robotics & Retail has shifted the paradigm on product commercialization, offering an innovative and efficient retail experience to the consumers: unmanned, fully autonomous, scalable, smart stores.

The future is here. And we can all be part of it if we take our chances and become disruptive.


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