Whether it’s speeding up the checkout process or minimizing theft, we’re here to take the stress out of holiday retail. In our previous blog, we focused on the basics- how our headsets and keypads can keep associates on the same page when things get hectic. Now, it’s time to dig deeper.
Improving communication doesn’t just mean enabling conversation between associates. It also means bridging the gap between associates and the technology that supports them. In part two of our festive countdown, we’re taking a look at smart integrations- what they are, how they work and why they’re the key to a smoother holiday experience.
More technology means more distractions
American stores have always been keen to embrace the latest innovations, and this has certainly been the case when it comes to smart technology. From smart fridges to smart CCTV cameras, stores are awash with devices. North America has the largest market share in smart retail, and this market is expected to triple between 2020 and 2025.
This is great news for the customer experience. Despite some initial trepidation, customer attitudes to smart technology have warmed considerably in recent years. Nine out of ten shoppers now view it in a positive light, especially when it comes to speed and efficiency.
For those working in stores, though, the trade-off is more complicated. Every smart device generates a steady stream of notifications, and this can be extremely stressful for associates. With no way of knowing which notifications are urgent, they have no choice but to respond to every one straight away. Tasks are interrupted and associates become tired from endlessly walking between devices.
This is particularly frustrating during the holiday season. With more customers demanding their attention and more tasks to be completed, associates simply don’t have time to check every smart device. At the same time, ignoring a notification could mean missing out on vital information. A more organized approach is needed, and this is where our open API comes in.
Play it smart this holiday season
An API is a piece of software that acts as a bridge between technologies. If two devices are speaking a different language, the API will perform the role of interpreter. If you’re one of the millions of Americans that owns more than one smart device, you’ve almost certainly used an API.
We always planned for our headsets to be part of a wider ecosystem, so we included our very own API as standard. This is an “open” API, meaning that it’s designed to integrate with as many other devices as possible. Whether it’s a fridge, a shelf or a camera, these devices can be linked to our headsets in a matter of seconds.
Next, our notification API springs into action. Whenever a device generates a notification, this information is relayed to associates via their headsets. This allows them to keep track of notifications without manually checking devices. As the holiday season approaches, this will make a huge difference on the shop floor:
- Smart cameras can alert associates to suspicious behavior that the security team may have missed. This makes it harder for thieves to use the holiday crowds to their advantage.
- Smart cameras can warn associates of breakages and spillages, allowing them to respond before they become a safety hazard.
- Smart fridges and freezers can warn associates if a door is left open. This prevents food from being spoiled at a time of year when every piece of stock counts.
- Smart shelving can tell associates when a product is running low. This prevents you from missing out on potential sales, not to mention disappointing customers who are relying on you for their holiday essentials.
Get the message out there
Our API doesn’t just link headsets to in-store devices. It also connects them to the outside world. This can make life much easier for associates during the seasonal rush:
- Our messagecast feature allows head office to send updates directly to associates’ headsets. If a product is recalled, as happened recently with CostCo hams, associates can begin removing it from the shelves straight away. If a payment provider crashes, the checkout team can be notified as soon as service resumes. This is especially useful during the holidays when stores may not have time to hold regular team briefings.
- Telephony integration lets associates make and receive calls via their headsets. This saves a lot of unnecessary walking at a time of year when customers often phone ahead to check on stock levels. These questions can be answered directly from the stockroom, saving time and ensuring that information is as accurate as possible.
Festive retail doesn’t have to be chaotic. By turning your disparate smart devices into a single ecosystem, we can keep things running smoothly this holiday season. Talk to our team to book a demonstration.