Sunday 16 June 2019

Why Robots Will Never Replace Market Traders

The world is preoccupied with robots and the replacement of human jobs but market traders can feel secure in their unique talents they contribute to the adventure that is shopping.

A trader described one particular sale recently that might help to illustrate the point. This was more than an exchange of goods for money because during the sale process the trader was shown multiple family photos and discussed various aspects of this customers life. The customer hadn’t just come to our market for a purchase, they had come for social interaction.

Traders who are good at social interaction have an advantage. And good communication with customers doesn’t necessarily demand great language skills. All it takes is being attentive, and friendly.

Another trader talks about the families who visit the market regularly and the children who excitedly run to the toy stall or to ring the bell at the boat stall. This is more than buying goods. This is also a family outing for fun and social engagement.

A recent presentation at The Press Club included the philosophical notion that humans have progressed from labour tasks, through skilled crafts, to high level brain functions, but the next level is far more exciting - it is do with the heart. As civilisation develops data and robots for so many functions it is matters of the heart, and social interaction that will become highly sought after and market traders are in the box seat.

As Traders we need to keep improving and refreshing our offer but as we have pointed out on many occasions in the past - our ace card is social interaction with our customers and in that regard the future is bright.

By Greg Smith