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Why You Should Have A Tablet In-Store

Posted by Andrea Baker on

This year about one fifth of all tablet purchases will be made by the corporate sector, with mobile devices becoming an increasingly integral part of business technology. But it's not just offices utilising the power of the tablet. The retail sector is readily embracing the portability, flexibility and affordability of tablets.

Here are five reasons that's happening and why you should have a tablet in your store. 

Point of Sale

It comes as no revelation that tablets are on the rise as the chosen device for point of sale, with the range of apps available for inventory management, payment processing and sales reporting increasing by the day. Big names like Shopify, PayPal, Revel and Vend have been driving this market, catering to both iPad and Android devices.

For merchants this offers an unprecedented level of flexibility with minimum expense, where you can download an app and sign up for a monthly POS service without committing to customized software.

Importantly, the mobile element means you can also take the checkout to the customer in-store. 

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Customer service

Gone are the days where the customer was naive to technology. These days the average consumer is more than happy to complete transactions themselves via an in-house tablet, or access further deals and information. This doesn't replace staff but rather offers options for payment and interaction.

For retailers this means they can use the tablet to enhance a customer's experience of their shop. In restaurants this plays out when the tablet acts as the menu, allowing diners to go beyond words on a static page to view digital images and further information about their meal.

In a bricks and mortar store, a tablet kiosk can provide ready access to detailed information about product items, so a consumer can see it in action or explained in full.

And for retailers previously limited by inventory, customers can learn about and purchase stock in-store that may not necessarily be on-site, instead being delivered the following day. 

Customer engagement

New technology is constantly evolving that engages customers virtually within bricks and mortar stores, and the tablet is at the forefront of this trend.

In an interview with Business News Daily Giovanni DeMeo, vice president of global marketing and analytics at retail event marketing firm Interactions explained: "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."

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

Meanwhile it also facilitates 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.  

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Advertising

Imagine shop signage that can be changed with the click of a keyboard or the flick of a button. It's already available via a tablet where advertising and promotions can be altered, uploaded or presented on devices in prominent positions.

This enables retailers to advertise sales, products or programs at a minimal cost with immediate effect.

ZD Net explains that while stores have been using digital signage for a number of years "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.

Scalable and affordable

Arguably the greatest asset of a tablet is that regardless of its use, it is scalable in an affordable way. That means for as little as the price of an iPad or Android device you can add an extra POS terminal, have an additional advertising station or a customer self-help kiosk. According to Bouncepad this has major benefits for large retailers.

"The costs associated with rolling out thousands of tablets and tablet kiosks across all of their store locations is something that can be done simply, and relatively quickly compared to a more complex and expensive piece of technology.

"Further, tablets can be used right out of the box, which maximizes the up time for any project a business is pushing live."

While there are obvious benefits for big chains, the small price tag also makes tablets the perfect alternative for fledgling retailers or pop-up shops looking to get up and running quickly in a cost-effective manner. 

The last word

With statistics indicating almost half the US population owns a tablet, this technology is ingrained in our day-to-day lives. And while tablet use in retail is still in its early days, now is the time to explore the creative ways these must-have devices can aid the retail experience.