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Automation in Retail

Hansa Andersson
February 24, 2020

Automation in Retail was most probably the main conversation piece of this year’s NRF event – whether this was equipping store associates with mobile tools providing real-time customer insights, personalized sales suggestions and fulfillment orchestrations – or if this was manifested in AI enabled replenishment drones flying by the shelves in our warehouses using computer vision to identify inventory.

Automation is a reality growing in relevance and value in all aspects of the retail value chain.

The underlying ambition are clear – by equipping staff with the right information at their fingertips and ensuring that inventory is available in the right channel, in-store retail is leveraging digital capabilities to deepen their interactions with the customers striving for a differentiator and advantage over the ever growing online shopping.

I fully believe that automation in retail, rather than making personnel redundant, is here to enhance the value that a human interaction brings to the customer experience.

Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said in one of the opening sessions “As human beings, we were meant to interact with one another, It’s how we get energy. It’s how we get support when we’re dealing with adversity. It’s how we share joy and successes in our lives. I think one of the common themes going forward is finding ways to create human connection. Human interaction. The world needs that”

Retail automation is about simplification, it’s about avoiding human errors, it about removing uncertainty and waiting, it about avoiding unnecessary cost, but most of all I fully believe it’s about allowing retail to focus on what really matters – creating human connections that drives trust, loyalty and ultimately sales success.

Hansa Andersson,
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Capgemini Retail Industry Principal, Scandinavia

Hansa is a Director within Capgemini’s Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution market unit in Scandinavia and he is responsible for nurturing the industry practice and to continuously improve our market relevance and customer value proposition. Though active participation in customer engagement he drives the retail sales pipeline management process with Corporate Development and Divisional stakeholders, as well as providing strategic marketing leadership for Capgemini within CPRD industries.