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Why You Should Have A Tablet In-Store

Posted by Andrea Baker on

These days the tablet is part of day-to-day life, whether it's accessing emails, trawling the net or kicking back with a good book. And increasingly this highly portable mobile device is not only present in the domestic and business world but in shop fronts, restaurants and even banks being used in functional, creative and innovative ways.

Here's how tablets are being used in retail and five reasons you should have one in your store. 

Information

Making a purchase is based on the information you have at hand when choosing the product you want, and now retailers are providing that information on the showroom floor via a tablet.

This information can be a virtual display of what a product offers, access to a product that's not currently in stock but can be brought in, or the ability to compare products in-store.

Information is provided in the knowledge customers will seek it anyway, looking for the best price, cheapest offer, or competitor's deals on their own Smartphone. But by engaging with the customer at the point where they are making their decision to purchase, the retailer has the greatest chance of success.  

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Engagement

From bringing the register to the customer to allowing them to undertake transactions and seek information themselves courtesy of a fixed kiosk, tablets have the ability to enhance a customer's experience of a store and the brand.

That engagement also includes having tablets available for customers to sign up to loyalty programs or complete online surveys in store.

In an interview with Business News Daily Giovanni DeMeo, vice president of global marketing and analytics at retail event marketing firm Interactions notes: "Retailers are starting to leverage tablets in a way that allows for more engagement with the shopper".

"Stores can give more information about products, product demos and other details that might be available online, but [using tablets] gives a more positive experience within the retail environment."

Meanwhile tablets also facilitate swift access to social media where new products can be photographed in-store and immediately uploaded to Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest creating a sense of immediacy and ever-evolving stock.  

Signage

In-store signage and sales prompts that notify shoppers of markdowns or promotions are nothing new, nor is the digital take on this sales technique. But having changeable, intimate signage courtesy of a tablet is.

Strategically placed tablets mounted to walls or desktops enables retailers to advertise sales, products or programs at a minimal cost with immediate effect.

ZD Net explains that "using tablets for digital signage allows for a smaller and more personal, private experience for a variety of companies and their customers".

Couple this with access to a retailer's app, loyalty programs and product information and you have a seamless branding experience where the retail experience transcends the walls of a store into the virtual world. Brand story telling is growing, with tablets especially being used to deliver such needs. Marketers can use screens in tablets in store to check-in or email about certain things at the store. 

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Retention

There's this cafe it serves good coffee (tick) but best of all it offers free Wi-Fi and three iPad kiosks complete with child friendly apps (triple tick and shout out on Facebook).The result: happy parents content to enjoy the serenity while their children lap up a healthy dose of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja.

Retailers have long known that sales are the result of retention, and the tablet can provide a new-age playroom for children and adults alike. While the tablet isn't being used to plug a product or make a sale, it is encouraging potential purchasers to choose their shop, stay longer and peruse the wares.

Couple that with using the store’s free Wi-Fi log-in linked to their Facebook page and you have social media marketing, shop selection and customer retention rolled into one. 

Payment

Apps, Cloud based data storage and affordability are making it increasingly easy to replace the good old fashioned register with a tablet when it comes to point of sale.

The last five years has seen a massive increase in retailers abandoning customised point of sale software and instead turning their attention to big-name players like Vend, Shopify and PayPal to manage their in-store transactions, inventory and customer relations.

The beauty of this is you can download an app to your iPad or Android device, start uploading inventory, add a compatible barcode scanner and cash drawer and you're off and running, often for a fraction of the price of older technology. And these players know the value of their technology offering no lock-in contracts with monthly billing or even free access.

This makes tablets the perfect POS solution for pop-up shops, fledgling retailers or even multi-national companies seeking an affordable solution.  

Final say

The tablet may still have its roots in functionality for retailer-based chores like sales or stocktaking. But as industry retailer's embrace the creative potential of these mobile devices, they are becoming an exciting technological mainstay in the retail world.