Retail Automation

What is Retail Automation?

The retail industry is under immense pressure, and customer expectations only continue to surge. While some will struggle to adapt, other enterprises will stay ahead of the curve by pursuing automation to address many modern challenges the retail industry faces.

Industry-wide automation is being implemented daily by enterprises with a growing need to meet demand, boost customer experiences, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

Briefly, Retail automation is the process of using automation technology to optimize operations by improving various manufacturing, distribution, and fulfillment processes. As digital transformation initiatives push forward in various sectors, it’s no question that automation aims to be the future of the retail industry.

The path towards automating the retail industry exists to provide businesses with tools to streamline repetitive, manual, or otherwise time-consuming procedures while also solving challenges such as increased labor costs and greater demands from consumers.

But – why? What benefits does an enterprise hope to obtain by incorporating AI-enabled robotics into their existing infrastructure?

Understanding the Benefits of Retail Automation

BG RPC selects an SKU out of a hetrogeneus tote using the SpectrumGripper

There are several operational benefits to retail automation. Understanding those benefits will allow you to understand why the technology is such a valuable asset to any business or supply chain.

First, automation works to reshape current retail business models and the retail supply chain. The goal is to create logistics strategies with fewer steps, and greater throughput, led by an educated workforce empowered with real-time analytics.

Specifically, retail automation focuses on simplifying, removing, and automating as many low-value or time-consuming manual tasks as possible. Not only does this lower employee workload, but it frees operators up so that their time can be used on more valuable and complex tasks. In addition, as retail moves to automation, employees can work more safely since many more dangerous jobs, such as picking products from tight warehouse aisles, are robotically automated.

BG RPC selects an SKU out of a hetrogeneus tote using the SpectrumGripper

The Berkshire Grey Solution

Berkshire Grey partners with retailers worldwide to build comprehensive, customized robotic automation solutions. Berkshire Grey’s AI-enabled, scalable technology overcomes labor scarcity challenges, speeds up order fulfillment, and improves profitability overall for retailers.

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Pick, place, and sort with automation

Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Product Sortation (BG RPS) systems pick tens of millions of items round-the-clock for major retailers. Linking Berkshire Grey’s robotic automation solutions with traditional conveyor-based solutions has never been easier with solutions such as Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Induction Stations (BG RIS) retaining the ability to pick and place items into traditional sortation systems. Additionally, BG RIS improves standard order throughput and sorter utilization by up to 25% to 50% without requiring any additional labor.

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Mobile sortation optimization
Manual order picking and sortation is traditionally slow, pricey, and even potentially dangerous, depending on the product or environment. Berkshire Grey’s Mobile Robotic Platform (BG FLEX™) systems aim to be the solution, using orchestrated mobile robot fleets to enable dynamic any-to-any induct to discharge sortation, which delivers faster fulfillment without the need for additional labor.
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Incorporate automation on your time
Rather than replacing your entire warehouse at once to implement robotic automation across the board, Berkshire Grey’s Put Walls (BG RPW) can integrate with your existing infrastructure to sort customer orders 3X faster than traditional, manual methods. Likewise, BG RPW autonomously handles nearly 100% of typical SKU packages, assortments, and order profiles, which can improve your upstream batch inventory picking throughput by up to 33%. Berkshire Grey tech aims to help enterprises incorporate AI-enabled robotics incrementally, reducing initial investment costs and making AI-enabled operations more accessible.

Advantages to Retail Automation

Berkshire Grey’s retail automation solutions can be advantageous in several ways. Using a unique selection of items from Berkshire Grey’s solution portfolio, a company can easily automate many of its processes.

As online shopping becomes a requirement for many consumers, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers must also compete with online stores. Automation is critical for retailers to streamline their eCommerce fulfillment operations alongside traditional store replenishment. Fortunately, Berkshire Grey’s automation solutions look to optimize both.

In an increasingly competitive retail landscape, retaining customers is a more significant challenge than ever, and robotic automation is poised to be part of the answer. Automation is an important part of serving consumers more quickly and accurately, increasing customer satisfaction as a result. While some might see automation as a solution with greater relevance to eCommerce, robotic automation solutions can boost retail success in physical stores as easily as they can in an online environment.

Why Berkshire Grey?

Maximize ROI

Robotics As A ServiceUsing Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS), an enterprise can unlock the value of robotic automated fulfillment without the severe upfront capital that used to be required. By partnering with Berkshire Grey, you can incorporate artificial intelligence into your existing infrastructure and see the technology scale alongside you.

Scale your production operations

Every business can achieve enterprise-scale performance by integrating the appropriate automation solutions in its operations. Berkshire Grey’s robotic automation solutions utilize cutting-edge mobility, robotic picking systems, and AI orchestration software to meet retail automation challenges head-on.

Solve labor scarcity

Automate the more labor-intensive operations tasks for store replenishment and eCommerce order fulfillment with Berkshire Grey’s production-proven robotic picking, packing, and sorting technology.


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A retail automation system is a network of technology designed to streamline repetitive, traditionally manual processes that would otherwise take up too much time. Simplifying, removing, and ultimately automating as much manual work as possible from an operator’s workload is the principle behind automation for the retail industry.

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Automation is used in a number of processes specific to retail. One example of automation in retail is restocking processes. In the past, restocking was a time-consuming manual task that required the work of many employees. Today, intelligent robotic automation solutions can perform many restocking functions autonomously.

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RPA in the retail industry stands for ‘robotic process automation.’

Get Started
with Berkshire Grey

Contact the BG Fulfillment Automation Sales Engineering Team to Learn How to:

  • Reduce operations expense by up to 70%.
  • Lessen your dependency on labor.
  • Bolster facility throughput by up to 25% to 50% with automation.
  • Get a customized ROI analysis of your specific environment and business.

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