Four in ten associates are dissatisfied with in-store technology – find out why smart technology in retail needs a rethink.

Retail decision makers are excited by smart technology, but associates aren’t so sure. Here’s how you can get everyone on board.

Article by Chris McKie | 23rd March 2023

Managers across the country are embracing smart technology with open arms. These devices have the potential to transform stores for the better, but only if they are used properly.

In order to do this, it’s vital to listen to the concerns of associates before upgrading your technology. We wanted to help, so we asked associates for their honest opinions on smart technology. Here’s what we found, and what it means for the future of the shop floor. 


Smart is the new normal

The pandemic shifted customer expectations drastically. Customers were keen to limit human contact, both with associates and with their fellow shoppers. At the same time, many stores were facing serious labour shortages. 


The answer to both problems came in the form of smart technology. Over the last two and a half years, the so-called “internet of things” has spread rapidly across the nation’s stores:

  • Retail technology received over $40 billion in funding in 2020. Over a third of this money was spent in North America. 
  • The global market for retail technology is expected to grow by almost $250 billion between now and 2026. 


The pandemic may be behind us, but some of its effects will be permanent. We recently surveyed both managers and associates about their attitudes to smart technology. Their answers made it clear that smart technology is here to stay:

  • Almost half of associates now use smart technology at least twice a day
  • 63% of managers are planning to implement more smart technology in the next 12 months


What do associates really think about smart tech? Read our report to find out: 


Think before you upgrade

Smart technology has a lot to offer, but it’s important not to rush your store’s transformation. Every team has different needs, and these should be considered before you upgrade. 


Unfortunately, our survey shows that this doesn’t always happen. A lack of communication around smart technology is creating a divide between managers and associates:

  • 80% of managers believe that smart devices are being used to their full potential, but less than half of associates agree
  • 79% of managers think that associates have received sufficient smart device training, but 30% of associates say they need more
  • 41% of associates feel that head office doesn’t consider their needs when implementing smart technology


At a time when cooperation is essential, smart technology is driving a wedge between head office and the shop floor. This relationship needs to be mended, and listening to associates’ concerns is the first step. This is where VoCoVo comes in. 


Smart tech that works for everyone

Associates aren’t opposed to smart technology. They just want to see it implemented in a sensible way. Almost half say that smart technology makes their jobs easier, and a third believe that portable communication devices would allow them to deliver better customer service. 


By keeping these preferences in mind, we can help you to upgrade your in-store technology without leaving the shop floor behind:

  • Our headsets allow associates to communicate instantly from anywhere in store. You can find information for customers without leaving their side, creating a much smoother customer experience.
  • Headsets are hands-free, allowing associates to work as they talk. This kind of multi-tasking can save you an average of 105 minutes a day.
  • Headsets can be used to train associates on the features of new smart devices. Experienced team members can demonstrate devices while simultaneously explaining what they are doing. This kind of hands-on training has been shown to speed up learning in 87% of businesses
  • Our multi-conference feature lets you create separate channels for each store department. You can set up a dedicated technology support channel, allowing associates to get instant help with smart devices. 
  • Headsets can be linked to other smart devices using our notification API. This allows smart fridges, smart shelving and others to send alerts to associates when action is required. 


The benefits of VoCoVo are two-fold. Not only is it a useful smart technology in its own right. It also helps associates to use other smart devices more effectively. Download our report to find out more.

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