It’s time to mention the elephant in the room: The looming global recession triggered by the pandemic as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it’s not all doom and gloom; research has shown that automation and robotics innovation often pick up the pace during difficult economic times.
This was certainly the case during the pandemic, where smart city robotics proved their potential: When social distancing was obligatory, and there were concerns about physical contact—like in retail, hospitality, or warehousing—robots took center stage and advanced hugely.
But what about robots’ capacity to help our society during the next global recession? Let’s dive in.
With the approaching economic downturn, the prediction is that consumers will shift their spending from expensive restaurants to fast-food chains. Therefore, it’s a crucial time for locally-owned restaurants to expand into new formats and markets and find growth opportunities.
They could do this by teaming up with a last-mile delivery startup and autonomous technology projects. If customers order from a local business or restaurant via delivery platforms partnering with Kiwibot, our robots could meet them up to a mile away and serve with love.
The average delivery takes 25 to 30 minutes and costs much less than traditional delivery—plus, the robot won’t expect a tip or steal one of your chicken wings!
Restaurants partnering with Kiwibot receive cheaper food delivery deals, which is especially important when they are looking to cut costs and improve customer service during a recession. Plus, Kiwibot is an emotion delivery service, helping restaurants build brand awareness, reach zero-carbon emission goals, and unlock new value at a reduced cost.
At Kiwibot, we believe in the growth of our Kiwers (employees) and want to encourage careers in robotics. As automation can become more sought-after during economic uncertainty, we are training the next generation of engineers, developers, and robotics enthusiasts to be ready for what’s to come. Plus, it has been proven that companies should try to maintain their internship programs during a recession to maximize technology usage, keep their graduate jobs pipeline, and fill talent gaps.
Hiring technical people is no easy task under normal conditions. So, we have implemented a six-month Kiwibot U Startup Program for operations coordinators or maintenance technicians. They undergo intensive training, get to know Kiwibot inside out, experience a tech startup environment, immerse themselves in robot technology, and get the opportunity to travel abroad.
As we transition to the fourth industrial revolution, Kiwibot is helping build a hub of technology and robotics careers for young talent all around the world.
Retail services are often one of the hardest hit sectors during a financial crisis, as higher inflation usually means consumers are less likely to splash out. Also, recessions expose weaknesses: From 2008–2011, legacy retailers and those who had been slow to innovate were particularly impacted.
But these times of uncertainty also mean structural changes, emerging trends, and new business models. For example, retail brands that have struggled to measure and convert foot traffic could turn to delivery robots to stand out from the competition during a recession.
In June 2022, in Jockey Plaza shopping mall in Lima, Peru, Kiwibot carried out its first retail advertising pilot with semi-autonomous robots, successfully boosting retail sales.
“We are aiming to change the traditional and antiquated outdoor advertising for retail brands and replace it with a dynamic interaction that will transform the customer experience,” said Felipe Chávez, CEO and co-founder at Kiwibot.
If robots are roaming around a mall, promoting brands, and interacting with customers by sporting a QR code that can be scanned for discounts, brands alongside Kiwibot are showcasing the future of SMART retail. Advertisers can get better engagement and receive essential data for measuring campaign performance. Additionally, during a period when consumers are attempting to stop overspending, businesses will still be able to boost interactivity rates and elicit emotions.
Overall, robotic delivery technology has the potential to streamline many commercial processes, offering solutions to cutting costs and fostering customer-centric experiences, even during a recession.
For more information about how robots can help get us one step closer to building sustainable smart cities, check out our latest blogs.