Rethink existing processes to improve productivity, quality, and cycle times.

Today, with rising customer expectations, it becomes increasingly essential to provide top-notch services. The retail industry is a special case because it often depends on customer loyalty for it either to succeed or fail. Today, it is essential for retail businesses to automate their processes.

A general look at RPA in retail?

By implementing RPA, bots are assigned to follow a set of instructions and steps that human workers usually do to conduct a task – or tasks -. In the retail and e-commerce industries, RPA has been widely adopted as a way to automate and streamline many of the interactions that underpin modern retail strategies.

The ability of RPA bots to mimic human actions allows them to serve as universal integration points, enabling even software systems and apps that lack APIs to integrate. A bot could be scripted to transfer data between systems the way they would be moved from a spreadsheet to a customer relationship management system (CRM) by a human.

The importance of including RPA in retail industry

  1. Improved Customer Experience
    Chatbots that are powered by automation can offer 24/7 customer support, addressing questions and issues immediately. Further, it can analyze customer data to provide more tailored and engaging interactions through personalization of marketing and recommendations.
  2. Inventory management
    With RPA in retail, managers can maintain optimal inventory levels and reduce overstocking and understocking risks. With RPA, inventory levels are monitored and updated in real-time, preventing errors. Aside from improving demand forecasting, historical data can be used to optimize your product availability.
  3. Cost reduction
    The main use of RPA is to do the same tasks as humans do, with zero percentage errors, which reduces operational costs. Moreover, bots can work more hours than humans, which is a significant way to increase revenue.
  4. Access to more data
    Decision-making is a critical part of retail management, for this instance, retail businesses tend to implement RPA. Bots have 24/7 access to customers’ purchase and transaction data, which can be collected alongside analyzed to enhance the decision-making process.

The real use cases of RPA in retail

  1. Automated inventory management
    Using RPA bots, inventory databases are always updated. By scheduling an unattended bot to run at the end of every day, inventory management systems such as Zoho Inventory or Square can be updated with sales data from each store.
  2. Supply and demand forecasting
    For broader, more strategic supply and demand planning, retailers can use RPA bots to prepare the needed reports. By using attended bots, teams can combine data from multiple documents and sources into one spreadsheet. If the RPA solution can run multiple bots simultaneously, such comprehensive reports can be generated instantly.
  3. Facilitating sales analytics
    RPA is a lot of help here! Retailers can have more accurate pricing insights by analyzing customer behaviors, store performance and any other critical data source. Through scheduling, bots can regularly get into the company’s POS system to pull all the necessary data.
  4. Boosting return process
    Customers can be guided through the return process around the clock with minimal human interference, by intelligent chatbots and interactive voice response (IVR) technology. During this process, RPA bots can update inventory, customer, accounting, and any other systems that are involved in handling the return in the background.