Businesses Are Buying More Robotics and Drones

Expect that spending to increase by 17% this year.

January 07, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Global spending on robotics systems and drones will jump 17.1% in 2020, reaching $128.7 billion, reports Progressive Grocer, with retail as one of the industries that will see the fastest growth in robotics spending, alongside wholesale and construction, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Robotics and Drones Spending Guide.

Between 2019 and 2023, retail specifically will see a 29.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).  Pick-and-pack will be a top use for robotics systems in 2020 at $12.3 billion. Shelf stocking and customer service are expected to grow the fastest, with 46.5% CAGR and 42% CAGR, respectively.

Many grocers have been investing in robotics for large automated sheds. Examples include Kroger; Miami-based Hispanic grocer Sedano’s; ShopRite in the Northeast; Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons and Stop & Shop. Expect to see more robots at work in stores, cleaning up spills and managing out of stocks. Already, Giant Eagle, Schnucks, Giant/Martin’s and Stop & Shop have used them.

As for drones, spending is expected to be smaller than for robotics in 2020 ($16.3 billion) compared to robotics ($112.4 billion), but drones will have a much faster growth rate (33.3%). The IDC Worldwide Robotics and Drones Spending Guide looks at spending data for more than 60 use cases across 20 industries in nine regions.