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Modern retail is all about the frictionless experience, where the journey from product discovery to sale is simplified and streamlined.
For bricks and mortar, one of the key ways to reduce friction is to minimise time spent in the queue, and that’s where tablets offer serious potential.
Used as a mobile Point of Sale, tablets allow a retailer to take the checkout to the customer. Due to their affordability and easy set-up, they also enable stores to create additional static points of sale, so more registers are available.
And embracing mobile POS can offer benefits to both the immediate customer experience and the long-term reputation of a brand.
Retail Week notes 89 per cent of shoppers have left a store due to a long queue, and 65 per cent of those said they immediately went to a rival outlet afterwards.
Furthermore, according to Lightspeed, the maximum time people are prepared to spend waiting is 6 minutes 46 seconds, which makes a swift transaction at the Point of Sale imperative.
It may seem one of the least likely areas to benefit from technology, but increasingly tablets are playing a key role in the fitting room.
Touchscreen tablets enable a customer to see other similar items or styles that are available, and can also save on staff resources, allowing them to be summoned when an item is required.
Fitting room tablets can also facilitate upselling, courtesy of apps and programming which suggests accompanying items to buy.
One of the previous constraints of retail was the physical space available for stock, but that’s no longer the case courtesy of the tablet and the endless aisle.
Tablets can showcase a retailer’s entire range of products far beyond what’s available in store via digital catalogues. This allows retailers to offer the best of both worlds – a physical bricks and mortar experience where the products available courtesy of instore digital are virtually limitless.
Service and knowledge are the key differentiators between bricks and mortar and online retail, and many retailers are arming their sales associates with tablets and iPads to play this advantage to greater effect.
Staff with tablets can easily check stock levels, source items from other associated stores, view trends on social media, and research on behalf of the customer.
If there is one trend that has really made headlines in retail this year it is augmented reality, and again tablets are being utilised to accommodate this new customer experience.
Tablets can be used as smart mirrors that allow consumers to virtually try on make-up and clothes. It’s immersive, it’s exciting and it’s taking the customer experience to a whole new level.
Every retailer understands the power of Big Data which allows them to better understand both individual customer’s shopping habits and group trends.
That’s where loyalty and rewards initiatives come in, and a very effective way of having customers sign up is to offer them a kiosk in store. As simple as a tablet and tablet holder, the kiosk allows them to input their details, see the rewards available to them then and there, all while enjoying an improved customer experience.
Harnessing the power of tablets in store is simpler and more affordable than many expect, requiring just a small investment in hardware like iPads, stands and secure enclosures, and easy to utilize software such as mPOS apps.