Smart Stores

Rebooting the retail store through in-store automation

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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Report – Smart Stores

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Infographic – Smart S...

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Sound Bites

Sacha Berendji, Retail – operations and property director at Marks & Spencer

Our customers – especially those who come to us for lunch – are so busy, any tech that can speed up the shopping experience is a massive benefit to them.

Gerrit-Jan Steenbergen, Group retail technology director, (CIO) at A. S. Watson

Our consumers do not want face recognition, so the technology we are using requires a customer to use our app.

Key Takeaways


of consumers who have previously visited stores with automation would shift purchases to a store with automation technologies if they had a positive experience


of consumers believe that automation can improve their shopping experience by solving the challenges they face when they shop in retail stores, such as long queues for checkout and payment


of consumers overall prefer to shop with retailers that use automation technology to reduce food waste

About the Capgemini Research Institute

Capgemini Research Institute

Capgemini’s #1 ranked in-house think tank on all things digital


Ron Tolido

Executive Vice President, Global CTO – Insights & Data. Certified Master Architect. Member of the Group Technology & Innovation Council. Lead author of TechnoVision. Executive lecturer at TIAS Business School.

Brian Girouard

Expert in Strategy and Transformation

Elisabetta Spontoni

Elisabetta Spontoni is the Group Offer Leader for “Digital Core with SAP S/4HANA” and is responsible for driving the offer lifecycle end-to-end, by orchestrating SAP CoEs around the world in achieving their missions: pre-sales/solutioning, offer promotion in the market, build Go-To-Market tools, Talent Management, Support project delivery.

Josean Mendez

Josean is the SAP Partner and Ecosystem Lead, Global Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships at Capgemini. He combines his over two decades of leadership experience in the Mobile Solutions and Software Development industry with his passion to drive Digital transformation for the benefit of our customers. His constant endeavor is to devise agile solutions in order to facilitate a future-proof digital enterprise.

Frank Wammes

Vice President, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer Capgemini Europe. Member of the Group Technology & Innovation Council. Co-author of TechnoVision. Executive coach on the topics of Digital Transformation and Innovation.