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Technology usage intent among apparel retail employees

Tasha L. Lewis (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)
Suzanne Loker (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 6 May 2014




The purpose of this paper is to identify variables important to acceptance and use of advanced technologies by apparel retail employees and to recommend management strategies for effective technology integration in retail stores.


Current or past retail employees (N=71) were introduced to and given time to use three technologies – a 3D body scanner, product configurator, and social networking – in a laboratory setting using a within subjects design. A questionnaire measured participants’ perceptions of each technology in terms of usefulness, enjoyment, ease of use, task importance, technology self-efficacy – overall participant confidence in using new technology – and usage intent.


Results showed that employee's perceived usefulness of technology was a mediating influence on usage intent for all three technology types. Enjoyment also emerged as a significant mediator for 3D body scanning technology usage intent. Employees’ high self-efficacy scores corresponded to higher ratings for usefulness of each technology, suggesting that more technologically confident employees would be more likely to use the three types of technology presented in this study as part of their work.

Research limitations/implications

The controlled environment of the laboratory setting may limit the generalizability of results to actual retail store settings. Future evaluations of technology usage in actual retail store environment involving both employees and customers are recommended.


This research explores the use of advanced in-store technologies from the perspective of apparel retail employees, applying the Technology Acceptance Model. It provides insight as to why employees accept and use innovative technologies that are relevant to their jobs and increase and enhance the points of contact between employees and customers. This knowledge of employee technology usage in the store environment could be used to improve job performance and job satisfaction – issues that often confront apparel retailers.



L. Lewis, T. and Loker, S. (2014), "Technology usage intent among apparel retail employees", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 42 No. 5, pp. 422-440.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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