Mobile tablets a welcome tool for retail associates

June 28, 2019

From information kiosks to magic mirrors and self-serve checkouts, mobile tablets are driving much of the push for an improved customer experience in retail and beyond.

But a recent survey has also found it’s not just the customer enjoying the benefits. Retail staff are calling out for mobile tablets in a bid to help them better service their customer and more efficiently do their job.

Here’s how mobile tablets are a welcome tool for the retail associate…

The push for mobile technology

Late last year Zebra Technologies released their 11th annual Global Shopper Study, analyzing the attitudes, opinions, and expectations of shoppers, retail associates, and retail decision makers.

They found 66 per cent of retail associates believed if they were equipped with tablets, they could provide better customer service and improve the shopping experience.

Meanwhile, nearly 60 per cent of retailers planned to increase their spend on handheld mobile computers by more than six per cent, and more than one-in-five retailers (21 per cent) planned to spend greater than 10 per cent on tablets over the next three years.

So, what’s driving the trend?

Benefits of mobile tablets

Whether used as the Point of Sale, as a handheld device for staff to access information, or employed as a self-service kiosk, the affordability and ease of use of tablets has long been a boon for device adoption in the retail sector.

But as retail associates note, it’s not just snazzy technology designed to entice the customer. Mobile technology allows them to better do their job.

Here’s how…

Ease workload

The Zebra Technologies survey found nearly half (49 per cent) of global retail staff felt overworked.

“Store associates cite frustration with their inability to assist customers as 42 per cent find they have little time to help shoppers because of pressure to get other tasks completed,” the survey noted.

Mobile tablets can help ease that burden. Self-service checkouts reduce the number of staff required for sales transactions, mobile POS allows staff to process sales on the floor, while information kiosks assist with simple and repetitive queries from the consumer.

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More informed

The survey also noted 28 per cent of retail staff claim it’s difficult to get information to help shoppers.

And again, this is another area where mobile devices can assist. With a tablet at their disposal, associates can quickly access information like stock availability, social media reviews, or detailed product information. The result is a more knowledgeable conversation with their consumer as they work towards a sale.

This expertise also serves to build brand trust, creating loyal patrons who turn to a retailer for their insight and service skill.

Better service their consumer

Ultimately, technology in the hands of retail assistants allows them to better serve their consumer. It enables them to tend their needs in a more timely manner, answer any questions they may have, and in some cases even showcase a product in action.

Zebra notes both retail decision makers and associates are acutely aware of this mobile potential.

“Most surveyed retail decision makers (83 per cent) and store associates (74 per cent) concur that shoppers can have a better experience with technology-equipped sales associates,” they state.

The final word

Affordable to implement and easy to use, mobile tablets have been growing in adoption throughout the retail sector since they first became available in about 2010.

Now, almost a decade later, their benefits are being realized as a tool that can assist with better service and instant information in a new age of retail that is focused on the customer experience.

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