What Robots Can Tell Retailers About Their Customers

December 30, 2015

Video and data analytics help retailers understand what their customers like, don’t like, and what to do about it.

Today’s consumers are a force to be reckoned with. People know what they want from a shopping experience – and expect retailers to deliver it without hassle. This makes the consumer experience the most precious and delicate part of what retailers do every day, and the requirements for making it work are more dynamic than ever before.

In our research labs, we are helping retailers anticipate what consumers want and need. Retail data analytics and robotic automation collect information throughout the store, and provide the full picture of what’s working and what’s not.

One of the early solutions for this is a robotic mobile analytics platform. The robot recognizes products and labels, and pinpoints the aisle and shelf where the products are located. It travels the store capturing and processing information from a high resolution set of cameras, recording where and how well the products are placed. The robot counts shelf stock, ensures merchandizing compliance, and generates dashboards with time-stamped to-do lists.

But it’s not just about stocking and promoting products. Retailers get real insight into consumer preferences – which items people pick up and compare, how people move through the store, and more.


By using real-time data analytics, retailers can quickly make adjustments to the customer experience, and respond to changing needs, tastes and behaviors. For example:

  • Knowing the items people pick up and compare can inform decisions on placement, pricing, promotion, and packaging.
  • Information on how people move through the store can be used to optimize floor design and placement of merchandise.
  • Monitoring wait times at checkout lines may help determine optimal employee schedules.

Everybody has the retail data, using it is the hard part. The ability to collect information about what consumers like and what they don’t like, and use it across the retail experience, is a powerful advantage.


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