The robots are coming… to the shopping aisles

by | May 27, 2024

Shopping malls and grocery stores are getting a serious upgrade thanks to the latest wave of retail robots hitting the shelves. That’s right, those hard-working androids aren’t just building cars or exploring Mars anymore – they’re here to revolutionise your next trip to the mall!

If you’ve been feeling like the same old wobblers, stickers, and banners blasting you from every storefront are just a blur of “been there, zoned that out” these days, then get ready for a whole new shopping experience. Retailers are betting big that these robots will snap you right out of your banner blindness.

Imagine casually strolling the aisles when suddenly a little robot on the shelf pipes up with a friendly greeting and promo offer for that new coffee you’ve been wanting to try. That’s exactly what happened at 20 Checkers stores across South Africa when the Tokinomo Shelfobot was let loose. This chatty bot sat behind the Jacobs coffee products, holding them out enticingly while using motion sensors to engage passing shoppers.

The Jacobs team reported incredible results, like a 78% increase in value sales at one location compared to the previous year. But even cooler were the glowing reviews from customers who called it an impressive, clever, attention-grabbing idea. When was the last time you raved about a paper promo?

tam jacobs | The robots are coming… to the shopping aisles | it's a Sher thing

These robots are taking shopper engagement to a whole new level of cool. At B8ta stores in California, an AI robot named Papper helps customers pick out merchandise, boosting foot traffic by 70%! Robots are being used for everything from inventory management to seamless click-and-collect order fulfillment too.

My favorite might just be the googly-eyed floor scanner named Marty, roaming the aisles of Stop & Shop to alert staff about spills or product shortages. I’m just imagining its cute robot face looking up at me like, “Hey you, yeah you in the mom jeans – there’s a spill in Aisle 6 that needs your attention!” Honestly, I’d listen to Marty.

As brands continue innovating with robots, the possibilities are endless for making your next Target run more fun and effortless. Robotic baristas handing out free samples? Droids doing all the heavy lifting with your grocery haul? A pet dino robot entertaining the kids while you shop in peace?

However retailers choose to integrate robots, one thing is clear – the age of cutting-edge, social shopping experiences is here. So get ready to be way more engaged and delighted during your retail therapy. The robots are coming to an aisle near you!

I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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