More robots in retail

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Poor customer service can drive consumers away from a business. Often, service is hampered because employees have to handle tasks that keep them from attending to a customer’s wants and questions. So why not let robots help?

That’s the approach that some retailers want to take to free up humans, so they can help other humans.

The use of retail robots still is early in the experimentation process, says Alan Marcus, who is the head of technology media and telecommunication partnerships at World Economic Forum, but he expects to see more implementation in 2017.

Marcus says companies will use the artificial intelligence that’s found in these robots in different ways and will base that use on the demands of the companies’ customers. Mobile self-service robotic kiosks will complete small transactions with customers, and inventory robots will track customer habits, so the robots can anticipate restocking demands better.