The grocery store landscape has seen some dramatic changes in 2020. When the pandemic hit, grocery stores remained open as an essential business. However, they needed to shift their working model to accommodate more eCommerce sales and an uptick in curbside pickup.
To handle this change and higher demand, grocery stores are turning to automation solutions for eCommerce grocery fulfillment, including the adoption of robotics.
Learn how KPS Global supports grocery stores in these efforts with customizable freezers and coolers that can integrate with automation and robotics tools.
Grocery’s eCommerce Boom
According to the Food Retailing Industry (FDI) Industry Speaks 2020 report, online grocery shopping sales jumped 300% early in the pandemic. The report also noted that the demand drove grocery stores to hire more workers and expand the SKUs offered online.
This increase in eCommerce also brings new challenges, including storage for products that require refrigeration and more resources to do the shopping and pack everything up for pickup. Modern challenges require modern solutions in the form of automation and robotics.
Robotics in the Grocery Store Environment
Even before the pandemic, there was high interest in automation in the grocery store industry. Walmart was experimenting with robotics that could “pick” most grocery items, eliminating the need for human shoppers.
Takeoff Technologies was an early entry into automated grocery fulfillment. They currently serve some of the world’s biggest grocery chains. They have an exclusive agreement with KNAPP, a leading global provider of automated warehouse solutions.
Since COVID-19, automation solutions and robotics have seen greater adoption. A story from CNN business disclosed that Walmart was expanding its use of robotics to 1,860 stores by the end of the year. That same story included comments from Takeoff Technologies, with the CEO stating they’ve seen a double-digit increase in orders since the beginning of the pandemic.
Online Grocery Pickup Fulfillment Requires Perishable Good Storage
With eCommerce click-and-collect orders skyrocketing, grocery stores need additional support beyond picking robotics. They need perishable good storage, and KPS Global has been a leader in the industry for decades. Takeoff Technologies is leveraging KNAPP robotics in KPS Global coolers.
Additionally, KPS Global has collaborated with Alert Innovation, an e-grocery micro-fulfillment platform. Another player is Fabric (formerly CommonSense Robotics), which produces proprietary robotics that leverage AI (artificial intelligence) to pick products and ensure groceries are in the right temperature zone before pickup. Another, coming on strong to the scene, is Autostore.
KPS Global has a portfolio of grocery fulfillment products, including front of house, back of house and outdoor options. The coolers are all fully customizable and turnkey. KPS Global designs, manufactures, installs and services its freezers and coolers.
See what online grocery pickup (OGP) fulfillment solutions for grocers looks like in this video.
KPS Global was uniquely positioned to meet the rising demand for eCommerce grocery shopping. The company had been on track to deliver solutions for years, understanding that consumers would force grocery stores to change their delivery models. The pandemic simply accelerated the OGP trend.
How Can KPS Global Support Your Online Grocery Pickup Fulfillment Needs?
As grocery stores continue to transform operations and expand their eCommerce efforts, they’ll need key partners to ensure they can deliver on customer expectations. KPS Global is here to support the grocery industry and robotics and automation partners. Learn more about KPS Global OGP solutions today.