How Robots Solve the Retail Labor Shortage
May 12, 2022
The retail industry is faced with a rising imperative to create safe, clean, and compelling customer experiences, not only to gain a competitive edge in store, but also to help drive unwavering brand loyalty across shopping channels. With the growing correlation between the appearance of stores — from cleanliness to inventory availability — retailers can’t afford to compromise on any aspect of their operations. This leaves retail executives, who already face long-standing labor challenges and rising costs, with the dilemma of having to do more with fewer resources in order to create a superior customer experience and maintain margins.
Thankfully, there’s a sustainable solution to these problems! BrainOS®, the leading artificial intelligence (AI) software platform powering autonomous mobile robots, delivers intelligent robotic tools that lend a helping hand to overextended retail workers trying to attain the shopping standards that consumers expect. With 90% of U.S. commerce leaders reporting that labor shortages are hampering their economic growth, innovative retailers are quickly hiring BrainOS®-powered floor care and Inventory Scan robots to ensure repetitive, yet critical, tasks are completed reliably and consistently.
Below are five ways BrainOS®-powered robots offer a sustainable solution to the ongoing retail labor shortage.
1. Robots Offset Labor Availability
Labor shortages and absenteeisms are an ongoing challenge for every retailer. BrainOS®-powered robots provide an immediate lift, helping fill the staffing gaps by delivering enhanced availability, reliability and consistency. This allows retailers to reallocate labor hours — meaning retailers can leave time-consuming, methodical tasks to robots and assign associates higher-value tasks that robots can’t accomplish.
2. Robots Address Rising Labor Costs
Labor costs are always an operational concern, but with consumer shopping preferences shifting and expectations rising, tasks like cleaning and checking inventory need to occur more frequently. At the same time, rising average wages and changes to mandated benefits are augmenting labor cost concerns. BrainOS®-powered robots allow a retailer to rapidly increase cleaning and shelf-scanning frequency while decreasing labor costs. Even further, robots can help reduce the cost of equipment and store damage from operator errors that commonly occur during manual operation.
Worried about the cost of setting up your stores and team to support robots? Have no fear! BrainOS®-powered robots include a user-friendly interface — meaning the setting up and training of machines is easily fulfilled by non-technical staff, who can conveniently run a cleaning or scanning route without the need for additional infrastructure requirements or extensive training.
3. Robots Enhance Employee Productivity
BrainOS®-powered robots are methodical and consistent. They follow routes precisely, capture environmental data and don’t get distracted along the way. By offloading the time-consuming tasks of floor cleaning and scanning inventory to robots, store managers can assign other tasks to associates, including sanitizing high-contact surfaces, restocking shelves and engaging with customers. Hence, BrainOS® equips teams with intelligent automation tools to be more efficient, productive and knowledgeable by automating operations and sharing critical data so assignments are given quickly and clearly.
4. Robots Increase Job Satisfaction
Aside from offsetting labor shortages and reducing costs, retailers that deploy intelligent robotic tools often see improved job satisfaction from their associates. Bottom line: human workers still play an essential role when it comes to hiring robots. By shifting repetitive, dull work to robots, retail workers can expand their skill set — from robot training and management, to inventory control or customer service. This can increase staff engagement and accountability, which positively impacts turnover rates long term.
5. Robots Deliver Proof of Work
Say goodbye to questioning if a store’s tasks are getting done! BrainOS®-powered robots feature integrated data capture technology that feed data and insights into our suite of fleet management tools, accessible through your laptop, tablet and mobile device. These tools deliver easy-to-navigate performance and usage analytics for each of your robots. Retailers can quickly and easily review performance data to verify operational tasks have been done — and done correctly — to deliver proof of value, support compliance and ultimately drive better overall operational efficiencies.
The retail industry will always require human staff to take on more valuable responsibilities and support customers. By allocating robots to the heavy lifting of performing routine tasks that require time and precision, operations can become more efficient, staffing gaps can be filled and overall worker welfare can be improved. Join the list of innovative retailers building more sustainable operations by combining the data-driven sophistication of automated robots with human teams — a trend that ultimately works to everybody’s best interests.
Ready to support your overextended retail employees with some much-needed automation? Let’s connect and review our robotic solutions already helping to mitigate the ongoing retail labor shortage across the globe.