At VoCoVo, we work hard to keep our finger on the pulse of modern retail. That’s why we recently commissioned our biggest ever survey of colleagues and senior decision makers. We interviewed over 1200 people from the UK, North America and Germany to build the most accurate possible picture of life on the shop floor.
The results are in, and there’s one issue in particular that stands out. Smart technology has transformed the nation’s stores, but this transition has not always been smooth. In this blog, we’ll take a look at where decision makers stand on smart technology, and why colleagues don’t always agree.
Decision makers are embracing the future
UK retail has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology, and smart technology is no different. Our survey showed that UK stores have become some of the smartest in the world:
- 29% of decision makers have implemented smart tablets
- 23% are using portable voice technology
- 25% have introduced smart shelving
This is only the beginning. When it comes to smart technology, we found that UK decision makers also have big plans for the future:
- 64% are planning to implement more smart technology in the next year
- A third are currently researching smart solutions
- 20% say that a rollout of new devices is imminent
Confidence is high, but is it misplaced?
With so many devices already in stores, it’s no surprise that UK decision makers have a great deal of confidence in smart technology. We asked them to name their reasons for adopting smart technology, and they listed a range of benefits:
- 42% believe that smart technology will create a better customer experience
- 42% think that it will improve training
- 32% are confident that it will increase productivity
As well as recognising these individual benefits, decision makers are also confident in the overall effectiveness of smart technology. 88% believe that it is being used to its full potential, and 30% describe themselves as “very confident” of this.
Unfortunately, this confidence is not always shared by those on the shop floor. When we asked colleagues about smart technology, we found a worrying gulf in perception:
- 39% don’t believe that smart technology is helping them to meet the challenges of the shop floor
- 30% feel that they haven’t received sufficient training to use smart technology effectively
- 41% believe that head office doesn’t consider their needs when choosing smart devices
This last point is especially concerning. If colleagues feel decision makers are implementing smart technology without considering their needs, they are unlikely to embrace it fully. This could lead to a situation where you spend a lot of money on technology, only for morale and productivity to drop as a result.
Smart technology that puts colleagues first
Luckily, this scenario can be avoided. Colleagues feel ignored, so you need to make them feel heard. By focusing on the smart technology they want, and giving them the right training to use it, you can make sure that nobody is left behind. This is where we can help:
- Our headsets let colleagues communicate from anywhere in store. This allows them to find information faster, answer customer queries with ease, and reduce daily walking by up to 1.4km.
- Headsets can be used to provide effective smart device training. Newer colleagues can shadow senior team members while they demonstrate smart devices, and headsets can be used to clarify any points of confusion.
- Our notification API lets you link headsets to other smart devices. Smart fridges and smart shelving can send notifications directly to colleagues, helping them to keep track of in-store technology.
A third of colleagues are worried about technology replacing them. By implementing smart technology according to their needs, you can show them how much they are valued. Download our report to find out more.