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How to plan Automation, Robotics, Self Service & Vending for the Store

This PSFK guide is a vending and automation innovation report for brands and retailers to use self-service tools, robotics and automatic technologies to deliver convenience & drive sales across product & service categories.

Executive Summary

Applications of classic vending and self-serve solutions are being updated with digital technology and connectivity to help brands and retailers create automated customer experiences that enhance convenience, boost personalization and drive operational efficiencies. From a brand and retailer perspective, automated systems, smart vending machines, and robotic solutions are providing opportunities to not only excite consumers and connect with them in new ways, but meet consumers where they are, whether that’s in-store, within their local neighborhoods or even their own doorsteps.

Report Overview

In this vending and automation innovation report, the PSFK iQ research team explores the self-service tools, technologies, and applications brands and retailers are launching in order to integrate convenience and drive sales around a wide variety of products and services. Learn about the pre-, during, and post-purchase solutions that offer consumers an entirely contactless journey. From featured strategies and highlighted examples, discover an approach to service that utilizes technology, robotics, and automation in order to drive maximum personalization and convenience.

What You’ll Learn In This Report

  • By outfitting displays, kiosks, and even entire stores with a mixture of AI, computer vision, mobile interactivity and robotics features, how retailers are empowering consumers to take greater control of their shopping experience.
  • How automated solutions provide ready access to product information, recommended selections and frictionless that prioritize ease and safety.
  • Across the marketplace, how innovative retailers are leveraging autonomous technology coupled with AI and machine learning to streamline their operations while increasing fulfillment speeds and simultaneously reduce costs.
  • How robotization and unmanned stores have become spectacles in themselves, giving consumers new reasons to visit.

What’s In This Report?

In this vending and automation innovation report, the PSFK iQ research team explores the self-service tools, technologies, and applications brands and retailers are launching in order to integrate convenience and drive sales around a wide variety of products and services.

This vending and automation innovation report provides:

  • 6 trends showcasing innovation around AI, Self-Service, Vending and Robotics
  • 39 best-in-class examples of technology fueling in-store automation and convenience
  • Proprietary statistics from PSFK US Automated Store Survey
  • Consumer insights into changing behaviors and expectations around in-store experience
  • Case studies from Saatva, Purina, Lumini, Shiseido, PepsiCo Foodservice, Cleveron.and leading solution providers identified

Watch A Presentation of the Research + Expert Interviews

This video includes a presentation of key insights from this PSFK In this vending and automation innovation report plus expert discussion with Scott Finlow of PepsiCo Foodservice and Edith Vali of Cleveron.

Original Insights & Statistics In This Report

  • When asked if they found store experiences fresh and innovative, 71% of US shoppers said moderately, a little or not at all.
  • When asked about in-store technologies they think would improve the shopping experience, US shoppers prize most highly familiar technologies such as self-checkouts (47%), lockers (31%) and interactive kiosks (28%). Less than 25% of shoppers say today that robots and other robotic systems would add to the experience.
  • When asked if they prefer to engage with store associates or store technology, 40% of US shoppers prefer store associates and only 16% prefer only dealing with technology. 32% of shoppers don’t mind either.
  • “People’s needs and expectations from brands are changing at a rapid pace. As marketers and innovators, it’s crucial that we respond to these demands. We must become more consumer centric and operator empathetic than ever before, and PepsiCo Foodservice is leading the way. Our team is leveraging cutting edge technology and testing new digital innovations that address labor shortages, on-premise safety, sustainability and more.”
    Scott Finlow, Global Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Foodservice
  • While over 68% of US shoppers think that most or all stores are easily accessible for them, 31% of shoppers say some to few stores are easily accessible to them – hinting that a segment needs better access to retail experiences like vending.

Who Prepared This Report?

This product manufacturing innovation report was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.