Dealing with Retail Crisis using RPA


It has been a while since the retail industry realized the importance of automating workflows using Robotic Process Automation in view of the fact that customer demands have increased exponentially over the past few years. It is no secret today that traditional methods of marketing are outdated and need to be scrapped and ultimately replaced with new automatic methods. As far as robotics is concerned, we are only familiar with one theory that robots are going to replace humans, which is partly not true. It’s not like they are going to replace humans. Instead, robots are going to work in harmony with humans. That’s a perfect notion that needs to be conveyed. In this era when no industry has remained untouched by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, RPA being a subset of them has been the talk of the scenario. In this article, we are going to take you on a tour to explore how the retail industry is getting benefited by RPA. Before we address that, let’s take a quick look over some of the key challenges faced by the retail industry in 2020.

Key Challenges in Front of the Retail Industry in 2020

  1. Product Availability: Dealing with a high volume of inventory with very low visibility.
  2. Workforce Management: Struggle to retain and manage the workforce.
  3. Business Analytics: Handling fluctuations in market demand and delay in sales analytics.
  4. Managing Market Demand: Forking out manual operations like invoice processing.
  5. Customer Satisfaction: keeping up with the hassle of providing personalized user experience. 

RPA Empowering Retail Sector

You know that retail is the concluding step of a complex supply chain and therefore, it is necessary to cut down additional costs at every stage. An array of activities is supported by RPA in the retail industry such as contract management, store planning management, returns processing, etc. There is no denying the fact that RPA can change the dynamics of the retail industry completely and optimize several financial activities including cash flow management and regulating compliance.
Following is a list of operations that can become simple as ABC by incorporating RPA into the retail industry:

  • Employee On-boarding
  • Customer Behavior Analysis
  • Enhancing Customer Support
  • Efficient Sales Analytics
  • Inventory Management
  • Automatic Invoice Processing

Automation Broadening the Dimensions of the Retail Industry

E-Commerce has been an instrumental part of the retail industry. Realize how comfortable it is to just order essential products while sipping a cup of coffee avoiding the headache of roaming around in markets for perfect pieces. No doubt that e-commerce is on heights today. But what if it can still be improved significantly? What if there is an unearthed treasure for improving sales? Certainly, there is. RPA makes every process light as a feather just in a snap. RPA broadens the dimensions of the retail industry by seamlessly improving the customer’s shopping experience. Business analysts say that you have to work upon every tiny detail so that the high-level picture comes live. These details range from product mix to store location and whatnot. Being said that, another thing to understand is that every retailer tries to generate profit from selling a particular product. But due to lack of relevance and optimization, retailers used to go through a hard time. RPA enables them to automate mundane tasks, repetitive activities, and optimize overall costs.

RPA put to use in Retail Industry

“Global Online Sales have increased to 8.8% of total retail spending in 2018, which was just 7.4% in 2016.”
                                                                                                                            -As quoted in the Financial Times

  • This world has seen a huge jump in online sales with the retail industry addressing the increasing need for consumer-centric business execution. There are certain sections of the retail industry where RPA can be employed to reduce human efforts and errors. Let’s have a look over them:
    • Demand-Supply Planning
    • Marketing Planning
    • Product Categorization
    • ERP Management
    • Work Order Management
    • Call Centre Processes
    • AppBots Development

The Perks of Harmonizing RPA with Retail Sector: A Curated List

Now that we have introduced RPA into the retail industry comprehensively, it’s time to go over the perks of leveraging RPA for retail operations. RPA once employed correctly reciprocates in hundreds of thousands of ways. It won’t get over if we start with all the benefits, still, we have tried to sum them up:

  • Bolstering Customer Satisfaction
  • Market Trend Prediction
  • Successful Product Launching
  • Better Product Availability
  • Smarter Business Promotions
  • Real-time analysis of sales
  • Efficient Business Planning

Signing Off

Structuring retail processes for high ROI is now possible using Robotic Process Automation. RPA eliminates the hectic schedule of managing manual operations and thus presents enormous possibilities to automate workflows in several industries. According to a study conducted on retail data analytics, it is concluded that we can save marginally by automating 50% of the tasks being done by humans. As we have stated at the beginning of this blog that we are on the brink of a robotics era with RPA becoming paramount in every other sector.