Friday, December 05, 2014

What Do You Think About #Lowe's #OSHbot ? Is This The Future Of Shopping Experienc?

Intriguing article I found on the Internet lately. Retail chain Lowe's has launched experimentation of OSHbot, a robot designed to provide customer service in store. The robot can identify products, talk, interract with shoppers, and can lead the customer to the product it needs. It can speak several language, contact another salesperson in another store to provide extra advices. 

When I read the article headlines on Twitter "The Future of Shopping has Arrived and its Name is OSHbot" I had high expectations.

But after having seen the video, I am really wondering if this is what to expect from the future. Indeed, I believe that these kinds of robots must cost a fortune to equipe a store with (at least several thousand dollars a piece). How many of them would you need in a busy store to actually be enough to advice all of your clientele?

Also, those robots have a unique goal: to advice client. That means they can't do the other taskes a human may do, meaning merchandizing tasks.

Also, is the experience with a robot better than with an actual human? As a customer relationship expert, I still believe people do and will always value human interractions the most?

Now the only advantage I may found, is that if you are facing a high turnover, educating a salesforce may be costly and take time. Nevertheless, I am also questionning if those robots will have a long lifetime.

I would like to have your insights: What do you think about it? Do you really believe we will soon see those robots.