Retail Industry Choosing Machine Over Man?

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A story recently hit the internet that stated automation is causing retail jobs to disappear.

U.S analysts say robots, vending machines and touch screen kiosks are to blame for human job losses as they are increasingly replacing workers.

The Los Angeles Times reported that as shoppers become more accustomed to using self-service units, the loss of retail positions is hampering the nation’s high unemployment rate.

It is estimated one in 10 Americans work in the retail industry but companies are increasingly turning to technology and its benefits to sell more products, improve customer experience and use fewer employees.

In January 2011 there were 14.5 million U.S retail workers, down 1.1 million from three years ago.

Sectors that are taking advantage of touch screen technology include shipping and warehousing jobs that can process packages quicker, virtual assistants are replacing customer service representatives and kiosks are reducing the need for checkout clerks.

Experts say the trend is worrisome and that retail positions could soon disappear altogether.

Here at Protouch we believe it’s less about total human replacement and more a case of better placing staff and giving customers the convenience of being able to opt for a kiosk should they wish.

In many environments automation is no longer a “nice to have” but a necessity, particularly in places where speed is a must; automating the right services brings great benefits to both a business and its customers.

Having said that, no matter how tech-savvy humans become machines cannot deal completely with 100% of situations and therefore a careful balance of staff to kiosks is a must.