The retail sector has leveraged many technologies that have taken the industry forward. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) robots, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the internet of things (IoT), and drones have proven beneficial not only to the sellers but also to the consumers. Retail stores can improve their efficiency and provide better consumer experience by using technology like AR, computer vision and in-store drones.
Drones can be employed to have proper management of stock and study consumers' buying patterns to run the store more efficiently. Major retail chains have already begun implementing in-store drone services and the technology is headed for wide implementation in the sector due to its potential benefits.
Drones can be employed at warehouses to check the stock availability. They can help in bringing new items when an item is running low on the shelf. They can also secure items far more quickly than a human can do. Drones programmed to understand the floor layout can easily locate items and provide them quickly to the warehouse staff. They can also secure an item far more quickly than a human. Similarly, at retail locations, in-store drones can ensure that the floor is always stocked, and bring new items out when they notice an item is running low on the shelf.
The usefulness of drones for real estate planning is not much talked about, but it’s incredibly important to retailers. Retailers invest a lot of time and money into building a new warehouse or a retail store. It also takes money and time to scout for real estate where the retailers plan to open up new stores. Big retailers have to depend on local brokers and agents to scour for new locations. In the future, drones will be able to execute this task on behalf of companies. Drones can be used flying to look for large chunks of land that might be good for a new store. A drone can find these spots, click photographs, gather information, and report back to the concerned team can review the circumstances and come to a decision.
Retailers need photographs for marketing. Hiring professional photographers is a costly affair which not many retailers can afford. Drones can help solve this problem. In-store drones can capture pictures inside the store without obstructing the customers inside the store. Drones can get a bird’s-eye view of the store without interfering with the working of the store. Drones can also capture photographs from angles not easily possible by humans. Drones are already being used for photography in various fields, and it's not long that the retail sector will see a huge implementation of drones.
Drones play a major role in studying consumer behavior. In-store drones can be used to study buying patterns and consumer movement inside a store. The data can be used to plan and stock items efficiently to provide a better user experience. Products purchased together frequently by customers can be placed close to each other. It helps save consumer’s time and also increases sales for the store. The use of technologies can help retail outlets provide better consumer experience and also help in running the store efficiently. In-store drones can provide for a better understanding of the customers, efficient management of supplies and thus increase profits for the retailers.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.