Australia’s retail sector is feeling the pressure – from both traditional and emerging competitors and from customers with ever-growing expectations and low tolerance for poor service.

Adapting to a new normal the sector is applying technologies and new ways of working to deliver better in-store and online experiences, to drive costs out of logistics, and to weaponise their supply chains.

Many are exploring how automation — using machines to perform tasks that would otherwise be done by humans — can be used as a competitive advantage.

Throughout the month of March Which-50 is taking a deep dive into the world of retail automation, exploring which technologies retailers think are the most promising and how they plan to integrate more automation tools into their operations.

From robots that pick and pack orders or restock shelves to self-checkouts and sensors to monitor inventory management, Which-50 will explore how machines are reshaping the business of retail.

We will look at how machine learning and AI are being set loose to solve the sector’s most challenging problems and what role digital helpers like chatbots can play when serving customers.

To help inform our research we are asking retailers to take a short anonymous survey on their attitudes towards automation.

The survey will close on Monday, February 25 and will be published in a whitepaper in March, 2019.

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