Saturday, September 22, 2018
CX Tech

How Robots Are Changing Retail

Brittany Schmigel
August 14, 2018

2 minute read

At this year’s Modern Customer Experience conference, the SmarterCX team met a variety of exhibitors and learned how their companies are creating smarter customer experiences. It was a pleasure speaking with Canine Therapy Corps, Yamaha, Vitamix, as well as another one of my favorites, Pepper the Robot.

Pepper is a humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics. In 2017, Oracle partnered with SoftBank to connect Pepper with Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Commerce Cloud. This collaboration allows Oracle and SoftBank to explore new, innovative ways for businesses to engage and assist customers, and learn from the data collected.

In my interview with Pepper, she danced, told jokes, and walked me through the process of returning an espresso machine. In my brief time speaking with her, I was able to see how industries with a high volume of customer interactions, like retail, could greatly benefit from this collaboration between SoftBank and Oracle.

Oracle and SoftBank aren’t the only ones exploring how robots can enhance the retail industry. Here are a few other companies who are looking to change the retail game with robots:

  • Kroger: This U.S. grocery giant recently partnered with the British online-only grocer, Ocado, to open 20 warehouses over the next three years. These new warehouses will be operated by Ocado and will use robots powered by machine learning algorithms to navigate the floorplan and select products for order fulfillment.
  • Walmart: Walmart will deploy first-of-its-kind grocery-picking robots in its supercenter store in Salem, New Hampshire. Using autonomous carts, the robots will gather items for online grocery orders and then deliver them to store associates to complete the fulfillment of the online orders.
  • Shell: At a San Francisco Shell gas station, a robot adds an extra level of security by patrolling the pumps. Traveling at 3 mph, the robot is equipped with four cameras that continuously scan and record in all directions.

For a more in-depth demo showcasing Pepper’s capabilities, check out this interview with SmarterCX’s Mia McPherson and Pepper at Oracle OpenWorld.

Brittany Schmigel
Brittany Schmigel
Brittany Schmigel is a New Yorker and a tiny canine enthusiast. Brittany is a Content Strategist at Oracle, and has written professionally for B2B and B2C audiences within the technology, publishing, manufacturing, human resources, and legal industries.
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