Technology has become an integral part of our lives. Rather than using devices in isolation, we are increasingly viewing them as part of a wider online ecosystem. This is often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), and it is growing every day:
- There are now more than 26 billion active IoT devices across the world
- 127 new devices are connected to the internet every second
- 41% of UK companies use IoT technology
This is only the beginning. It is estimated that, by 2025, there will be 75 billion IoT devices worldwide. With over 8% of these found in retail, this growth is bound to have a huge effect on stores.
It’s not enough to invest in technology that works now. You also need to be sure that it can work alongside the technology of the future. At VoCoVo, we pride ourselves on being future-proof. It’s impossible to know exactly what stores will look like in five or ten years, but we are confident that our products will remain useful. Why? Because of our API.
Keep all of your devices on the same page
You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about APIs recently. In a world of ever changing technology, they are vital for maintaining a sense of order. But what exactly is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a piece of code that provides an access point to a server. This allows two devices to communicate, even if they were built at different times and by different companies.
A good API has become a major selling point for smart devices. Customers don’t just want a device that works. They want one that integrates seamlessly with their existing tech. Manufacturers are putting a great deal of effort into perfecting their APIs, and VoCoVo is no exception.
Our API offers unlimited integrations with a huge range of technology- past, present and future. By allowing smart devices to communicate directly with colleague headsets, you can speed up response times and increase sales. Here are just a few examples:
Food waste costs British supermarkets an estimated £2.4 billion a year, almost half of which is avoidable. By connecting headsets to smart fridges and shelves, we can help you to reduce waste and save money:
- Fridges can alert colleagues when doors are left open or temperatures get too high. This allows you to step in before food gets spoiled.
- Smart shelving can warn you when certain products are running low. This means you can restock faster, selling more and throwing away less.
Shoplifting is another expensive problem for retailers. Last year, UK stores lost almost £1 billion to customer theft, while spending another £1.2 billion on crime prevention.
Security colleagues do a great job, but they can’t be everywhere at once. Our API integrates with smart CCTV cameras to give them the support they need. As soon as cameras spot something suspicious, an automated message is sent to all security colleagues, giving them the exact location of the incident. This allows them to respond quicker, and hopefully to catch thieves in the act.
Speed up the checkout process
Despite the national stereotype, British shoppers do not love to queue. Our recent survey found that over a third of customers will leave a store if they have to wait more than ten minutes. Checkout queues were the biggest cause of this, with 24% of customers naming them as the worst part of in-store shopping.
With eCommerce gaining ground every day, it is vital to make the checkout process as smooth as possible. This is another area where our API can help. Headsets can be integrated with self-service checkouts, drastically reducing customer waiting times.
- Our API allows self-checkouts to send audio notifications directly to colleague’s headsets. If a customer needs assistance, nearby colleagues will be alerted to both the location and the nature of the problem.
- Self-checkout integration allows colleagues to authorise purchases remotely. If an authorisation is needed, an audio alert is sent to the nearest colleague. At the same time, a number flashes above the relevant position. The colleague can use this number to authorise the purchase from anywhere within sight of the checkout. This means less waiting for customers and less running around for colleagues.
For more ideas on combining VoCoVo with other devices, don’t hesitate to get in touch.