When you shop at a Schnucks grocery store, you may share the aisle with Tally the shelf-scanning robot. Made by Simbe Robotics, Tally is autonomous and scans shelves for inventory to make restocking easier. Schnucks is expanding its use of the robot to 62 locations, which will allow Tally to scan more than 4.2 million products every day.
“The real-time data Tally collects helps retailers like Schnucks ensure shelves are stocked, prices are correct, and the products customers are looking for are where they expect them to be. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tally has been crucial to Schnucks’ success. Tally has been able to keep track of inventory and replenishment, while simultaneously minimizing the amount of time workers need to spend in the aisles, keeping customers happy and workers safe,” Brad Bogolea, co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics, said.
Tally removes the mundane, often-dreaded task of manual inventory checking. It frees up 30 to 100 hours per week for teams to put down their pens and clipboards and focus on more important jobs, such as helping customers and keeping the store clean.
By using Tally, Schnucks has seen a 20% reduction in items being out of stock, and the robot’s inventory counts are on average 14 times more accurate than manual audits. Over the next two years, Simbe plans to roll out an additional 1,000 Tally robots to the retail industry.
“Since Simbe’s founding, we have approached Tally’s design with thoughtfulness to foster positive, valuable human-robot interaction for both retailers and shoppers. Tally operates alongside customers during regular business hours, so we have designed the robot to be keenly aware of its surroundings – and gave it great manners – always giving people the right of way and
CMO of PULSE, the robotics and technology company. Recognized Thought Leader in strategy, retail, e-commerce and micro-fulfillment.
In an effort to more cost-effectively fulfill online grocery orders for its customers, Amazon has opened a “dark store,” which is more of a warehouse than a store. Located in Brooklyn, New York, Amazon’s dark store will be a good test of the concept to determine how big of a role the stores will play as the company accelerates investment in the grocery ecosystem.
Amazon is confronted with many of the same challenges as its grocery competitors, like Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize. Among the challenges is how to meet the increasing demand for online grocery ordering and delivery.
On the surface, fulfilling online grocery orders appears to be a fairly simple and straightforward process. It’s not. Consumers purchase a wide variety of products, resulting in a mixture of small, medium and large orders, ranging from a few products to 50 or more items.
Prior to Covid-19, 4.3% of grocery sales were online. Online grocery sales currently account for 10.2% of all grocery sales. The increased volume of orders, when combined with the large variance of products that need to be picked to fulfill each individual order, has significantly increased costs and complexity.
The Costs And Complexity Challenges
Unlike other industries where economies of scale decrease the cost per unit with increasing scale (volume of orders), the cost to fulfill online orders remains constant when using a store’s staff or third-party labor to fulfill an order. Based on my own research, and research from consulting firms that specialize in analyzing the grocery industry, the cost to pick, prepare and deliver an online grocery order is between $10 and $25, with most deliveries averaging $11 to $12.
If a grocery retailer
Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled Amazon One: new technology for its Amazon Go stores that lets shoppers pay for their groceries by scanning the palm of their hand. By analyzing the shape of your hand and the unique configuration of veins under your skin, Amazon says its technology can verify your identity the same way facial recognition does.
Although Amazon One will initially be used for payments only, it’s clear the tech giant has much bigger ambitions for this hardware. In the future, it says, Amazon One could not only be used for shopping but as a replacement for tickets at music and sporting events, and as an alternative to your office keycard, letting you scan in with a swipe of your hand. In other words, Amazon One isn’t a payment technology. It’s an identity technology, and one that could give Amazon more reach into your life than ever before.
Understandably, some experts are skeptical about Amazon’s claims of convenience, and worry about a company with a spotty track record on privacy becoming the controller of a new identity standard. Whether it’s Amazon’s use of biased facial recognition algorithms or its ambitions to grow a network of home surveillance cameras, this is an organization that has proved many times that individual privacy is not always its biggest concern. Is it a good idea if Amazon knows exactly who you are from the palm of your hand?
Let’s start by looking at the technology itself, which is blessedly straightforward. Palm scanning has been around for years, and although Amazon isn’t offering many details on its own implementation, it looks to be similar to examples of the tech we’ve seen before.
As the company explains on its FAQ page, the