A Strategic Roadmap to Technology Deployment in Retail: Part 1

Brian Gallagher
Retail worker on POS

Who are the most influential people inside your store? Who knows more about what your customers’ desires are than the teams meeting with them every day? Who is the everyday face of your brand?

The answer to all these questions is simple: your employees. In a world ruled by the consumer, it is easy to focus on how new experiences change the customer interaction with the brand. However, I would challenge every retailer to consider how experience can engage and empower the employee. A happy employee creates a happy customer. An educated employee creates an educated customer. A happy and educated employee creates long-lasting relationships with your brand.

It is important to consider three major factors when contemplating new technology:

  • Which devices do employees want to use that will improve adoption rates?
  • What applications will elevate an employee’s ability to provide an amazing experience?
  • How can technology be used to streamline tasks and improve productivity?

Device and Application Selection

The selection of the right devices and applications can be incredibly complex. Careful consideration should be given to matching the employee base with the most engaging devices. The selection of the device can be as important to the adoption of new technology as the applications themselves. This selection process should include employees at every position and focus the majority of the feedback solicitation from the ultimate end user. If the device is being enabled for sales associates, they should have the loudest voice in the selection. This will increase acceptance and provide insight that others in the organization simply cannot prescribe.

Application selection should also start with focus on the employee. The implementation of technologies and applications that empower employees and reduce perceived waste will cultivate engaged employees. Identify the simplest things first: How can we eliminate paper? How can we personalize the employee experience? How can we eliminate checklists and reporting to provide more focus on the core of the job—selling? These are important questions that we all ask ourselves every day in our personal lives. It only makes sense that employees will appreciate the same approach in their professional lives.

So how do you decide? Take the time to develop a deep understanding around the questions posed above and never adopt a device or application without including your employees as part of the selection process.

Brian is the Retail Strategy & Business Development Director at Connection. Brian joined Connection in 2016 as the Retail subject matter expert (SME) after leading National Store Operations teams for more than 20 years. Brian has a deep understanding of today’s Store Experience and Customer Engagement solutions requirements and works collaboratively with customers and partners to create complete business solutions to drive customer engagement and revenues. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling with his wife and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.