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Asda will harness robotic tech to enhance online shopping efficiency

17 March 2016 - 13:24 by Mike Price

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Supermarket giant, Asda, is looking to improve its stake in the world of safe shopping online by making use of cutting edge robotics as part of the order fulfilment process, according to Marketing Magazine.

The firm’s chief exec, Andy Clarke, revealed that robots will soon be deployed to both improve the speed with which products are delivered to customers and also the accuracy of the picking process, preventing the wrong items ending up on consumer’s doorsteps.

Clarke explained that customers want the same level of convenience online as they receive in-store, which is why feedback sessions regularly bring up the same complaints over sluggish delivery and order mix-ups.

He also said that because Asda is owned by Walmart, it has access to the resources which will allow it to embrace new technologies earlier than its rivals, with robotics being just one of the areas of investment.

There are already robots working in some of Asda’s biggest distribution centres in the UK and Clarke said that improvements to AI (artificial intelligence) would make safe shopping online even more efficient in the near future.

The rise of autonomous vehicles is another aspect of modern tech which is likely to have an impact on the retail market and change how goods are delivered. From delivery drones taking packages to homes to driverless trucks hauling bulk loads over long distances, there are endless possibilities to fulfil.

Meanwhile, other supermarkets are making similarly bold attempts to make headway online, with Sainsbury’s currently in a bidding war to secure ownership of the Home Retail group, which owns Argos and several other brands. This would enhance its delivery infrastructure, a move made all the more important as a result of the deal recently struck between Morrisons and Amazon.