Trend alert: retail automation is on the rise

Posted on October 31, 2023 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments



You’re visiting your favourite store. Everything is well-stocked… products are conveniently organized… you easily find what you’re looking for (and are instantly informed if it’s not available). Assistance is there if you ask for it, but no one tries to engage you in idle chatter or talk you into a purchase. It feels like you have the place to yourself… as if it’s your own personal shopping experience. You take your time to browse, fill your cart and checkout. And everything you’ve purchased will be delivered to you. Of course, none of it may be suitable and you could have to send it all back… That’s the joy, and the nuisance, of shopping online.

From e-commerce to self-checkouts, the world of retail is changing. Some customers appreciate the efficiency of automation and digitalization; others prefer the personality of traditional in-store experiences.

Roger King, founder and president of Supplement King, is excited about the possibilities of digital retail. After growing a national chain of workout and nutrition supplement stores from the East Coast, King invested in e-commerce to create an omnichannel experience—a seamless connection between physical stores and digital shopping. The program launched in 2018.

Their website looks like a typical ecommerce website, but King explained there’s a lot happening behind the scenes. Server replication happens every 10 minutes, refreshing 4,000 SKUs of product in every store to maintain live inventory. This ensures online orders can be fulfilled by the closest store. Supplement King offers in-store pick-up, as well as next-day delivery, which according to King is faster than Amazon.

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