Why are so many associates being deprived of tech by their employers?
According to a survey from Salesfloor, store associates want tech tools. So why aren’t the devices omnipresent across selling floors?
The survey of 254 North American retail associates across a variety of product categories, compensation models and store sizes found:
- Ninety percent of associates that use digital technology in store said they felt that they had the tools to do their job well versus only 49 percent of associates who did not have access to digital technology;
- Associates using digital tools in-store feel seven times more confident competing with the likes of Amazon and eBay, compared to associates who aren’t equipped with digital technology;
- Seventy-two percent are more likely to stay with a retailer if given the right tools and technology to enhance their jobs, and two-thirds said access to digital tools and technology is a must-have at a future retailer.
While associates could use such technologies in-store for tasks such as inventory lookup, mobile checkout and offering suggestions based on past purchases, Salesfloor said technology can also help associates engage customers outside the stores through e-mails, texts and other ways.
“Many retailers have been slow to leverage new technology for associates, and our study shows that when associates are equipped with the proper technology they are happier, have a bigger impact on sales and stay with the company,” said Oscar Sachs, Salesfloor’s CEO, in a statement.
While the costs involved may be the primary reason many associates aren’t carrying tech tools, a concern that workers may use them for non-work purposes such as texting friends or playing games is also holding back adoption, writes Stephan Schambach, CEO of NewStore, in a column for Women’s Wear Daily.
Mr. Schambach believes less tech-savvy execs “assume the worst” in associates.
“Most employees today really want to do a great job, and they can be trusted,” he wrote. “If they can’t, you don’t have a mere technology issue, you have an employment issue.”
- Retail Study: 1 in 4 Sales Associates Are Not Properly Equipped to Perform their Job – Salesfloor
- 2017 Retail Associate Technology Study – Salesfloor
- Think Tank: Why Are Retailers Still Debating Store Associate Devices? – Women’s Wear Daily
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the cost, distrust or some other factor the main reason many store associates still aren’t being provided tech tools on selling floors? Do you see attitudes and adoption changing in the years ahead?