Camilla Gray at Fast Company has written a most interesting article on how iPads are changing retail, highlighting the example of a new Kate Spade micro-store in Tokyo. She points out that tablets are popping up everywhere in stores, but that often they are not very useful or interactive.
In the Kate Spade example, iPads replaced all the paper signs. But, this versatile technology had other uses in this space, as well. Gray writes:
They’re using the iPad to take something very simple–the paper sign which displays the price for, say, a line of bags–and turn it into a bottomless pool of product information, video and, social integration capable of sucking in shoppers. Not just that, but these iPads will be able to perform any operation a computer might do in a boutique: point of sale, product walk-throughs, loyalty tracking, employee training, shopping analytics–even inventory and supply chain management.
Not bad for a simple replacement for paper signs.
The rest of the article is well worth reading.
At Float we also see that using a tablet for a single simple function is often short-sighted compared with the potential of what these devices can do. But, to use tablets in a system, you need software that can control and coordinate all the possible uses that could work in the situation for which the mobile software is being designed. Integrating a number of functions of the enterprise into one system usually means that it is an easier idea to sell to executives, who will appreciate the potential efficiencies in overall operations.
We have already put many of the elements for a multi-function integrated enterprise mobile system in place.
For example, our Sandbox Web browsing app can be used to control what a customer can see when using a tablet.
Our Tappestry app shows how to build a social network among employees for peer support and training, or among customers for sharing product information and getting assistance.
We have built secure information sharing presentations for mobile, and quizzes, games, and leaderboards for customer engagement and interactivity. We know how to integrate mobile systems with LMS, ERP and CRM systems. The mobile dashboards we have built can be used for gathering, summarizing and visualizing all the information that our apps are programmed to gather. In short, we have all the pieces already available to help clients develop their own integrated mobile retail system built around tablets.
If you have a multi-faceted mobile project that you are trying to develop in retail, please contact us. We can help you.