As In-Store Pickups Surge, Zara Turns To Retail Robots

Retail adopts new tech efficiencies. The service automates the pickup process by telling customers at pickup stations to punch in a code that engages an in-store warehouse robot which starts looking for the requested order. The robot then delivers this to the dropbox.

This is part of Zara’s commitment to digital platforms, which has also included a pop-up shop in London designed to help facilitate online sales and returns.

Studies show that customers are increasingly aware of “click-and-collect” services in which items are purchased online and picked up in store. An NRF study last year showed 65% of shoppers were aware of such offerings, while 68% who tried it liked how it turned out. A separate study by JDA Software referred to these practices as “the cure for the store.”

Walmart is investing in these services as well, with its own experiments  “click-and-collect” which started in 2016, with ongoing modifications and improvements being made since. Walmart, Lowes and other retailers have made investments in robots for customer engagement, scanning, and other functions.