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Study shows retailers to automate 70% of store tasks by 2025

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Photo credit: The STS news desk, news on behalf of the SalesTechStar newsroom

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The recent 2023 Connected Retail Experience Study, conducted by Incisiv in collaboration with Verizon Business, shows that retailers are prioritizing investments in technologies that improve operational efficiency to reduce costs and increase profitability.

Real-time inventory management has risen to the top of the investment agenda in the face of uncertain supply chain issues that retailers have faced for the last few years. The deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) for improving operations will also increase, with a higher percentage of specialty and department stores adopting it than grocery and general merchandise stores. According to the new study:

  • The use of AI to improve operations is projected to increase 9x by 2025.
  • Mobile point of sale (POS) and curbside pickup sensors will significantly increase deployment across all retailers, particularly among specialty and department stores.
  • While the deployment of robotics for associate tasks is still relatively low, it will increase over the next few years, particularly among grocery and general merchandise retailers.

The study also shows that retailers anticipate a significant increase in automation and expect up to 70% of routine tasks will be partially or fully automated by 2025. They expect to leverage the labor and productivity benefits by re-deploying associates to customer-facing high-value tasks (18% of retailers) and support business operations (26% of retailers).

“Improving operational efficiency is crucial for retailers in today’s competitive landscape,” said Gaurav Pant, Chief Insights Officer at Incisiv. “Automation is imminent, and retailers must embrace it to streamline processes and reduce costs.”

The increased deployment of new store technologies, adoption of cloud applications, increased customer devices, and increased in-store associate devices will test the store network’s ability to handle additional traffic, particularly when it comes from devices that require low latency and process bandwidth-heavy files.

“As the number of mobile and connected devices continues to accelerate in stores, the need for faster speeds, less network downtime and a better ability to manage peak traffic will become more critical,” said Scott Lawrence, Senior Vice President Global Solutions, Verizon Business. “The key is to build a network architecture that will give in-store applications access to the right bandwidth at the right time, and enable them to scale up or down as needed.”

Incisiv and Verizon will be covering key findings from the study in an exclusive webinar Operational Efficiency in Retail: A Top Priority for 2023 on March 23, 2023 at 11am EDT.

About Incisiv

Incisiv is a next-generation industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. Incisiv offers consumer industry executives responsible for digital transformation a trusted platform to share and learn in a non-competitive setting, and the tools necessary to improve digital maturity, impact and profitability. Learn more at

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $136.8 billion in 2022. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.