Robotic Process Automation for Retail

by CRMT | Apr 23, 2020 | Blog

The wave of digital transformation and automation is happening now and it will take over the world in years to come. More and more enterprises recognized the importance of intelligent automation as a way to be more competitive on the market. According to KPMG, enterprise investment in intelligent automation will reach $231.9 billion in 2025 and a key driver in this growth is predicted to be Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

RPA is a software that increases productivity and reduces errors by automating repetitive tasks that were handled by humans. With faster and smoother processes also customer satisfaction is increased. RPA works with existing business systems so enterprises don’t have to invest in new IT infrastructure and it is available 24h/7 days in a week.

The role of RPA is taking on tasks that humans traditionally don’t want to do, allowing humans to focus more on value-add tasks and become more productive.

The list of tasks that RPA can perform is very long and I am listing a few most common examples here, for more you can visit our landing page here:

  • Opening e-mails and attachments
  • Reading and writing from databases
  • API calls
  • Reading and writing to Excel
  • Implementation of processes with IF-THEN-ELSE conditional
  • Data transfer between applications and systems

Use-cases in Retail

The need to accelerate digital transformation didn’t avoid the retail industry either. Retail enterprises are looking for leverage technology to ensure their business is relevant and their product is appealing enough to the modern digital customer. Therefore, many retailers are deploying RPA to automate processes ranging from logistics and supply chain management, accounting and finance through to managing marketing campaigns. McKinsey estimated that over 50% of the work in the retail sector can be automated which gives a ton of opportunities for retailers to improve their businesses, giving them a competitive advantage on the market.

There is so much that goes behind from bringing a product from a stage of production to the retail shelf for selling. As mentioned, a wide spectrum of processes can be automated in the retail industry, from processing invoices or gathering data for analytics to automating order and shipment tracking.

There are several specific use-cases for a retail industry where time consumption and the scope of human errors are serious concerns, and here are some of them:


  • Sales Analytics - By deploying RPA, a large amount of complex data from multiple sources can be collected faster and more effectively to build a bigger picture of the customers and their choices. Automated analytics provides easy access to reports, providing real-time insights of customers behavior helping retailers and suppliers to carry out more effective analysis to maximize sales opportunities. All of this can be done over the weekend so decision-makers have detailed reports ready and waiting on Monday mornings.


  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management – RPA is a popular target for management of logistics and supply chain because these processes are highly dependant on back office. Communication is essential for supply chain success and automation of e-mails would lead to better communication between suppliers, distributors and customers. With RPA, you can automate an e-mail or text when order is booked, shipped, delayed or delivered. RPA helps in maintaining inventory levels to ensure retailers have enough products or services to meet demand. Notification can be generated every time product is reaching low level. In addition, after assessing past orders, RPA can help determine optimum orders level which leads to procurement improving and reducing costs.


  • Customer support managementProviding 24/7 customer support, especially in e-commerce has become very important for every retail enterprise. With RPA, enterprises can make their customer support more efficient, faster and convenient. From the moment an order is placed, the system keeps tracking and sending real-time updates to customers about their order. Also, after delivery, customer records can be easily managed across multiple systems by synchronizing CRM information which leads to better customer experience.


  • Forecasting – RPA helps sales professionals in predicting future sales accurately by automating tasks related to data gathering, manipulation, presentation and analysis, whether it is a store, marketing or demand-supply planning.


RPA is not in the early stage of deployment in the retail industry anymore and it is time for retailers to welcome the (software) robots. Early adopters already recognize benefits of RPA, because it offers the opportunity to automate processes today, in order to position your enterprise in the future.  The increasing use of RPA in retail will impact the workforce by allowing humans to shift their focus to more knowledgeable work and become more productive.

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