4 Ways Retailers Can Use RPA

To Gain Competitive Edge & Stay Relevant for Customers

Retail industry is undergoing a transformative phase right now. Most of the retailers are looking to leverage technology to ensure their business is relevant and appealing enough to the modern digital customer. But the one technology that is really giving retailers a competitive advantage in the market is Robotics Process Automation & Cognitive AI.
The ongoing convergence of retail and customer products, technology, e-commerce has created unique sets of opportunities. This is where RPA & Cognitive AI is making all the difference.
Let’s see how.

Marketing & Promotions

For any retailer, marketing and promotions is a huge cost today. You just cannot survive today without putting yourself out there again and again and again. However, it is also critical to maximize the ROI from this cost.

To do so, retailers have moved towards a complex combination of multiple strategies and tactics that depend heavily on multiple variables and their real-time status. Traditionally, this was being done by using spreadsheets and complex formulas. RPA has stepped in here to deal with calculating the real-time status of these variables to make marketing efforts more effective.

The real-time calculations by RPA has further enabled marketers and promoters to devise unique offers and schemes that are lucrative enough for customers.

Analytics

RPA has emerged as a boon for retailers who are depending heavily on data analytics. The RPA algorithms are today processing complex data collected from multiple sources – online and offline – to build a more complete picture of the customers and their choices. RPA is also able to track changing market trends to create more accurate forecasts.

RPA is also able to look into sales data and identify hidden trends. It can analyze financial data to make risk mitigation strategies.

All of these can be done over the weekend so that you have detailed reports ready and waiting for you on Monday mornings.

All these analytical capabilities have made RPA a key component in digital transformation strategy of a retailer.

Store Planning

Retailers are now focusing very heavily on creating a unique store experience for their customers. To do this, they are constantly customizing their storefronts and aisle navigations. They are also implementing new display methods as well. So far, these tailoring exercises were driven by basic level of customer and sales analysis made possible by human analytics.

RPA has brought in a more granular approach to this data analysis. RPA tools are now tapping into the existing databases and combining them with historical data as well as constantly emerging online data. They are also adding the data collected by the handheld devices, self-check-out kiosks, promotional kiosks, and heatmap sensors to this mix. Such complex data structures require almost superhuman processing capabilities!

RPA tools can process these to bring out insights, not only at store level, but also at merchandize and product category level to make more effective store plans and layouts.

Product Planning

A retailer depends heavily on introducing new product categories or merchandize options to the stores to attract new customers and retain existing ones. However, it’s not as easy as picking up a product and placing it in the aisle. It requires a complex supply chain to be set up in the backend to support the demand across multiple locations. RPA is helping with product roll-outs and tracking their performance.

RPA tools are able to measure the performance of the new product against the objectives defined, compare it against the initial forecasts, and automate the supply chain processes.

RPA has allowed many retailers to adjust their product pricing, inventory, supply, and production.

Conclusion

RPA and cognitive automation have enabled many retailers to address key business challenges. They have also shed light on how industry specific challenges can be addressed. For retailers who have already started exploring RPA technologies, it is time to adopt a strategy that can maximize your ROI from the investments. Reach out to us to know what RPA strategy should you adopt. For retailers who are still not on board, the time is now. You don’t want to get swept away in the next wave of disruption driven by RPA and cognitive automation. Contact us to know how you can explore RPA tools without making any major changes to your existing IT.

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