Planning For A Retail Tablet Program Includes Charging And Synching, Guest Series Part 3Source: Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.
By Andrew Govek, senior project leader, Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.
Amidst the flood of news about Windows 8 and the iPad mini during the fourth quarter, we’ve seen a steady trickle of announcements confirming the advance of tablets onto the retail floor. Retailers are bringing online behavior in store in imaginative ways.
Sears and Kmart prepared for the rush of holiday shoppers by equipping associates in 500 stores with tablets to help them sell and upsell merchandise. RiteAid has provided tablets to Wellness Ambassadors to aid customer service in 40 remodeled stores and has plans to roll them out to 300 stores by year end.
Specialty retailer Aeropostale is conducting a multi-dimensional test with iPads in its Roosevelt Field concept store. It is using four iPad kiosks where customers can build their own outfits, scan bar codes to get product information, and access complementary items. iPads are also being used to enhance fitting room ambiance by letting customers select and listen to their favorite music.
Those testing tablets are focused in on customer experience and technology integration. Businesses are still in the early stages of working out their tablet strategies, and we know that customer-facing aspects garner initial attention. Ultimately successful execution is also dependent upon what happens out of sight of the customer.
A tablet battery may last 8-10 hours, shorter than the typical retail day. That means businesses with self-service and assisted selling tablet programs have to plan for how they’re going to keep them running. It requires more thought than just stashing them in a pile next to an available plug or PC.
We’ve written our fair share at FMA about the customer facing aspects of a tablet program and what goes into creating the right kind of tablet display and the thoughtful branding that should go with it. It’s appropriate to offer a few tips on the part the consumer doesn’t see — the charging and synching station.