Robots Could Ease Order Fulfilment for eCommerce Companies

Small- to medium-sized e-commerce companies sometimes face challenges with fulfilling orders, especially when one considers the costs incurred when managing warehouses and fulfilment centers. To make it easier, most of these companies outsource the tasks.

It is expected, however, that robots may soon take up these tasks as warehouse automation is adopted more by smaller companies. A recent report by Gartner forecasts that the warehouse automation industry will generate more that $21 billion in revenue globally this year. This is expected to hit $71 billion by 2032.

Most of the revenue generated and growth observed in the industry can be attributed to logistics business and large retailers. Current focus on big companies has placed warehouse automation out of reach for small and midsized businesses, primarily because warehouse systems are too complex and big for small businesses. Additionally, automated warehouse solutions are costly, so it doesn’t make sense for small businesses to invest in automation until they have volume and scale.

To help small businesses, warehouse automation companies such as Prime Robotics, Dexterity Inc., Pio and BionicHive have began aiming their services and products at e-commerce small businesses to reach new sellers. For instance, the P100 cube by Pio has been designed to pick products and store them efficiently. This machine, which is basically a high-speed vending machine, is retailing for $101,999, with a monthly fee of $2,997.

Pio’s cube package comes with a pair of picking robots. Users who wish to add another robot can pay a monthly fee of $3,996. Each of these robots can pick roughly 120 items in one hour and can work alongside other fulfilment operations, which eliminates the need for a separate system to manage the warehouse.

Pio has, thus far, conducted five cube-and-robot installations at AI Stone, Barnes 4WD, Souko, Sunday Swagger, and the Privada Cigar Club. How these brands perform in the near-to-long term could forecast e-commerce fulfilment in general. Meanwhile, BionicHive has manufactured a 100-pound, two-foot-wide robot that can run along warehouse shelves and aisles, picking orders without any help. The robot, dubbed Squid, is suitable for big and medium-sized businesses.

It is expected that the growing trend toward e-commerce that small- and medium-sized companies in the warehouse automation industry are exhibiting will afford growing brands more fulfilment options. Whether small-scale robotics and warehouse automation systems save money for e-commerce companies and provide them with competitive advantage over other companies remains to be seen though.

Robotics isn’t the only aspect that is growing within the ecommerce field. Companies such as NextPlat Corp. (NASDAQ: NXPL) (NASDAQ: NXPLW) are bringing next-generation approaches to specialized segments like healthcare ecommerce to ensure that sellers and consumers receive exactly what they want with minimal hassle.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to NextPlat Corp. (NASDAQ: NXPL, NXPLW) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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