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I’d rather be shopping – in stores with automation technologies

Brick-and-mortar retailers have a problem. Customers expect the efficiency and convenience of an online experience when they visit their stores – if they visit their stores. Luckily, automation is here to save the day. It can stamp out customer pain points, making physical stores more attractive. So why do only 40% of retailers consider automation a strategic imperative?

A strategic imperative

We wanted to find out. For the latest report from the Capgemini Research Institute – Smart Stores – Rebooting the retail store through in-store automation – we talked to over 5,000 consumers, and 500 retail executives. We learned that:

  • Automation appeals to consumers – 66% believe it can solve challenges such as long checkout lines
  • It can bring significant benefits – 46% of consumers are willing to shift their online purchase from a wholly online retailer to a retailer with stores that use automation technology
  • To scale, retailers need consumer trust and confidence – but a significant dissonance in perception persists between retailers and consumers
  • Following specific best practices will allow retailers to drive scale and capitalize on the benefits of automation.

Game-changer or marginal play?

Automation offers clear benefits to both consumers and retailers. By solving the challenges they encounter and creating a positive experience, it can entice shoppers back into stores, thus staving off competition from digital natives while reducing costs and making employees more productive.

Automation is a game-changer for retailers that prioritize it as a strategic imperative, view it through consumers’ eyes, learn from their data, build an automation operating model, and secure employees’ buy-in through training and reskilling. For the rest, it is merely a marginal play.

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