Top 8 Use Cases of RPA in Retail

January 29, 2020

The crisis of the retail industry is known to us all. The traditional method of retail, as we knew it a decade ago, is now not applicable in the market. With the increasing complexity of every industry, retail is facing a challenge because of changing customer demands and growing requirements of high user satisfaction. Robotic Process Automation or RPA is an optimum solution that can be utilized to complement unparalleled growth and the complexities attached to it.

RPA in retail can automate and seamlessly improve the workflow of most of these repetitive tasks, such as inventory management, customer engagement, loyalty scheme management, bill generation, customer complaints management, and business reporting.

Scope of Automation in Retail:

Every day, we hear about retail-related emergencies, where the millennial shopper is expecting much more than a buying-selling experience. Now, you have to take care of accelerated deliveries, e-commerce experience, user-satisfaction, post-sale support and satisfaction, and much more thoroughly.

Simply put, retail is all about the details. The retail providers are expected to dive into microscopic details to seamlessly improve the customer’s journey. These tiny details include the prize, product mix, demographics, store location, product placement, and every little thing that you can think of.

Why are the users inconsistent? And why are the organizations that used to make considerable profits facing such a difficult time? The answer is:

  1. Lack of relevance (not introducing innovative and fresh products)
  2. Lack of effectiveness (not making sufficient porifts on thousands of products)
  3. Lack of optimization (not optimizing workforce being utilized)

Every retail business, with both physical and virtual presence, is riding on the same boat. While the cost of a physical store is more due to the involved expense of the real estate, the complexity of retail is increasing for every retailer. This simply means that whether you sell your products online or offline or both, you have to strike a chord between multiple retail elements. If you don’t get the details right, you may get an initial boost, and then, the inevitable decline. Now, reversing this is a herculean task indeed.

RPA enables organizations to automate mundane, repetitive activities, accelerate workflows, and optimize overall costs. This is the true nirvana of the retail industry, which can help retailers stay relevant, effective, and optimized.

Retail is the concluding step of a complex supply chain that has several additional costs that keep adding at every stage. Anything (such as RPA in retail) that can improve these costs or optimize the costing of a product, can potentially also improve the profit margins of the retailers.

RPA in retail supports an array of activities, such as inventory, supply chain, returns processing, invoice and contract management as well as store planning management. The lesser-known fact, however, is that RPA also supports multiple office tasks such as onboarding, staff selection, payroll, training, health, and safety as well. The finance department can optimize activities around regulatory compliance, cash flow management, incentive claims, payables, and receivables.

According to recent data, global online sales increased to 8.8% of total retail spending in 2018, which was 7.4% in 2016. Online sales in the United States are also touted to double by 2023, which will reach up to 20% to 25% of the retail space. The industry is sure to face several challenges that need the restructuring of business processes from top to bottom.

Comparing these growth numbers to a considerably slow market, increasing labor costs, production costs, as well as undependable supply – retail owners can face significant challenges in the coming years. Other than this, retail is also expected to address the increasing need for consumer-centric business execution.

With automation, the need for executing manual and repetitive tasks is pretty much eliminated. According to statistics by PwC, there is a potential to save more than $2 trillion, by automating half the tasks being done by humans, and when it comes to an industry like retail – using RPA becomes of great importance.




Retrieved From: Makadia, M. (2020, January 20). Top 8 Use Cases of RPA in Retail. Retrieved from https://martechseries.com/mts-insights/guest-authors/top-8-use-cases-rpa-retail/

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