Do you ever get tired of waiting in line to check out of a grocery store? In the future, the check-out process will be streamlined, using more robotic registers. Recently, Panasonic teamed with Lawson food stores in Japan for a trial run of its new robotic check-out system. The “Reji-Robo” robotic check-out uses RFID tags to scan the items in a shopper’s basket, and then even bags the groceries automatically. (RFID tags are thin, small electronics components that wirelessly communicate within a short distance.)
Panasonic’s robotic check-out is somewhat similar to Amazon Go’s concept store in Seattle. However, with Reji-Robo, customers get a sensor-equipped basket when they walk into the stores, then choose items and place them into the smart basket. In a step beyond Amazon Go, the Panasonic basket once placed in to the robotic check-out system, automatically computes the transaction, the bottom of the basket opens, and the items are automatically lowered into plastic bags for the shopper.
The RFID system also holds promise to speed up the supply chain, increase accuracy, improve productivity, and improve inventory control and tracking.
What’s in your basket?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss some of the more frustrating and costly parts of retail and shopping.
- Show the Panasonic video: https://youtu.be/Hpp-3Ver7ig
- If students are not familiar with Amazon Go, view the video and concept at: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=16008589011#
- Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
- Which strategy is Panasonic using for this product? Why?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market robotic check-out systems.