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Store associates – then and now

Store associates – then and now


Store associates, the unsung heroes of retail, often work behind the scenes to ensure our shopping experience is both optimised and extraordinary. But the job is tough at times, with extensive manual steps that have to be completed during busy store hours, preferably without interrupting customers. Luckily, ever since Pricer’s founding 30 years ago in 1991, an amazing innovation in retail has made the job easier and more interesting for in-store staff.

1991: Not only did you have to continuously check price labels; you also had to frequently print hundreds of new paper labels and mount them around the store
2021: Electronic shelf labels automatically update prices multiple times per day

1991: You felt bad doing it, but you still had to throw out those expired products
2021: Dynamic pricing makes it easy to sell products with discounts before they expire

1991: Even though you knew the store like the back of your hand, you spent a significant part of your day trying to restock the right shelf
2021: No more reading the fine print – the visual shelf flash guides you to the right shelf in an instant

Store associates – before esl

1991: Directing customers around the store to find the right shelf
2021: Smiling as customers walk straight to the right shelf with the help of the in-store navigation app

1991: Explaining features and origins of products
2021: Trusting the ESL to offer all key product information to customers

1991: Running up and down the aisles to check for out-of-stock items
2021: Letting state-of-the-art machine vision detect gaps on shelves and send alerts to staff

1991: Trying to remember and explain to producers how a promotion went
2021: Using shelf vision to offer full insight into a campaign’s performance

1991: Trusting your gut to optimise sales areas
2021: Letting cameras, flashing labels and machine vision capture the actual state of the planogram

Technology makes it happen

With increasing competition from online vendors, brick-and-mortar stores need to offer an extraordinary experience and added value to customers. Store associates play a key role in making that happen. But to offer this kind of customer experience, store associates need to be able to let go of old, time-consuming tasks.

Technology has enabled store associates to do what most of them entered the profession to do in the first place: greet customers with a smile and provide a superior experience.

Published: May 20, 2021