Shoppers at Schnucks, a St. Louis–based chain, will soon say good-bye to storewide odysseys for Stove Top stuffing or ghee or toothpicks. Fifteen stores will be outfitted with start-up Simbe Robotics’ Tally shelf-scanning bots. The bots check for low stock or misplaced items by snapping high-res pics of every square inch of shelf space as they traverse aisles. The benefit for customers is the 3-D map that’s generated. “It gives you X, Y, and Z coordinates of every product within a few centimeters,” Schnucks’s chief information officer Bob Hardester explains. “We can tell a customer they’re looking for a product that’s on aisle three, section two, row four, on the left side, and it’s the fifth item.”
It’s all going to make finding something easier. “If we see a customer is just dwelling forever in the same aisle, we can send someone over to help them,” Hardester explains. Tracking movements also lets them make better customer recommendations, he adds: “The advantage digital sellers like Amazon have is they know every single item you look at, and for how long. This is a way for brick-and-mortar stores to catch up.”
Read more at Grub Street.