Saturday, 14 July 2012

Retail Robot?

A July 6th article from JCK Online describes a robot that sells retail.  Actually it’s a Carnegie Mellon University project called “AndyVision”.  It not only is able to describe and help customers find product in the store, it can scan shelves to identify out-of-stock merchandise. 

While the University actually uses this technology to help run their campus bookstore, I don’t think many independent jewellery retailers will be buying one and planning an extended vacation.  You can identify your favorite author or subject matter and select a book that interests you without the assistance of a live person.  We do it at the library all of the time.

Jewellery is a phenomenally complex product to sell.  If you believe that a robot could possibly do your job, then you’re in the wrong business!  Embrace the difference.  Study product knowledge, develop your selling skills, build your network, entrench yourself in the industry, maintain a list of descriptive phrases to romance diamonds.  Do everything that a robot cannot, and you’ll have the keys to not only defeating retail robots but the internet as well.

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