Robotics & Automation News

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Zebra Technologies unveils new robot for retail operations

Zebra Technologies has introduced SmartSight, a robot for mass merchants, grocers, and supermarkets and hypermarkets.

The company is showcasing the new machine at NRF 2020, the retail technology show currently being held in Chicago, USA.

SmartSight leverages the computer vision, machine learning, workflow automation and robotic capabilities of Zebra’s EMA50 enterprise mobile automation system to accurately identify out-of-stock conditions, pricing inconsistencies and planogram issues on the shelf.

The subscription-based solution is the first of its kind to put this data to work by generating corrective actions to store associates’ mobile computers to resolve these issues in near real-time.

SmartSight increases store inventory availability above 95 percent by autonomously scanning shelves and generating tasks for store associates to restock or update in a timely manner.

As a result, basket sizes increase, price integrity is improved, and planogram execution is enhanced.

The solution also allows retailers to reassign an average of 65 labor hours per store per week to higher value assignments that are more focused on engaging shoppers and less focused on managing what’s on the shelf.

The solution is available exclusively on a subscription basis, and is comprised of the EMA50 mobile automation system, retail automation software platform and both professional and managed services.

SmartSight integrates into existing retail systems, augmenting buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) and buy online deliver from store (BODFS) workflows.

Joe White, senior vice president and general manager of enterprise mobile computing, Zebra Technologies, says: “SmartSight and the EMA50 were developed to help retailers fully capitalize on the opportunities presented by the on-demand economy despite heightened competition and ongoing labor shortage concerns.

“Leveraging Zebra’s deep retail experience and market leadership over the last 50 years, SmartSight provides brick and mortar retailers a performance edge by autonomously prescribing corrective actions to associates based on what is happening at the shelf while also freeing up more of their time to focus on providing the best service to shoppers.”

According to Zebra’s most recent Global Shopper Study, the primary reason retailers are losing in-store purchases to online shopping is due to issues with inventory management, especially out-of-stocks.

Retail associates and shoppers expressed dissatisfaction with out-of-stocks as 43 percent of retail associates cited customer complaints about out-of-stocks as their biggest frustration and 39 percent of shoppers left a store without a purchase because of this problem.

Meanwhile, 25 percent of shoppers reportedly did not complete their purchase because the in-store price did not match the online price, and 15 percent could not find the correct or discounted price label on the products.

The Zebra SmartSight solution helps retailers substantially reduce out-of-stock conditions and minimize the occurrence of price mislabeling issues, resulting in higher levels of customer loyalty and increased average basket size.

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