You might have heard of autonomous delivery before. Back in January, large retailers began testing out the concept with commercial-grade vehicles. And now, Chicago is becoming a trial ground for food delivery robots since the city’s approval of the pilot program in September. The innovation is becoming more appealing to grocers as customers continue to expect fast delivery.
Self-driving robots can carry store items and meals over short distances in urban areas. The concept enables shoppers to purchase items through a store app and have them delivered without having to interact with a store associate. The technology can be a cost-efficient solution for grocers by reducing labor shortage woes and costs associated with manual delivery.
Improvements to the technology would have to be made before it becomes widely available to grocers. It’s important for the technology to adequately engage the accessibility community, not impede the right of way, and ensure people of all abilities can use the service. That’s why piloting the technology is a sound strategy.
There are other ways grocery stores can use retail technology to speed up delivery services. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered smart carts can help make it easier for stores to fulfill online orders. These carts use a screen to display a map of the store while also gathering more insights to help combat gridlock caused by online order pickers walking aisles alongside shoppers.
Faster delivery raises the stakes for grocers across the country seeking customer-centric innovations. Look to STCR’s omnichannel solutions to help put your store on the map for online orders.
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