In just a few short years, iPads have changed how many retailers do business.
Some companies are replacing cash registers with the Apple devices, while others are using apps to track employee productivity and merchandise. The portable iPad is a “powerful selling device,” said Sandeep Bhanote, a vice president at VeriFone, which provides companies with mobile payment software.
Michael Relich, president of IT at Guess?, said that he gave iPads to his store managers, with amazing results. “The iPad app we had allowed us to see what styles and sizes were selling in different regions,” Relich said. “For instance, we needed to stock more small sizes in San Francisco, where people exercise a lot.”
Guess? is just one of a growing list of retailers who are harnessing technology to their benefit. VeriFone told us a few ways that retailers are using iPads to change how they do business.
- Retailers can use apps that give associates and customers access to inventory and availability. E-commerce expands availability beyond inventory on hand to ensure that retailers never lose a sale. If a product is not available in-store, they can use the iPad to complete the purchase and have it delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep.
- Businesses can use iPads to show the customer more merchandise. Customer interaction tools, such as look books and product finders, drive sales by offering a more personalized customer experience through assisted selling, according to VeriFone. For instance, an apparel retailer could show the customer an entire outfit incorporating one item they were interested in.
- Retailers don’t have to pay for printing and distribution costs for corporate materials. iPads eliminate the need to pay for paper, CDs, and other corporate materials such as training manuals or in-store promotions. One-touch delivery of corporate materials sent directly to the iPad makes it possible to update more frequently to ensure stores “are constantly leveraging the latest and greatest materials,” according to VeriFone.
- iPads make associates more effective. Retailers can now deliver the most current customer insight, preferences, and selling tools to their staffs to support enhanced customer relationships. This allows retailers to “bring new associates up to speed more quickly and ensure that veteran associates are constantly refreshing their skills to effectively drive sales,” Bhanote said.
- iPads make it easier for all retail employees to be on the same page. Managers can ensure that new layouts and trends are in-store before the competition. This could also bring in new customers.
Soon, iPads will be an essential tool for any retailer looking to keep up.