Saving the SalePeter Reville |
I was recently shopping at an EMS store for a fleece vest for my wife. I found the one I wanted, in the color I wanted, but they didn’t have her size. “Do you have this in a small?” I asked a clerk.
“Let me check,” and off he went to the back room. A few minutes later he returned to tell me that they were out of stock in the store but they had plenty online; I was to inform the associate at the register and he could order it for me.
OK I thought, let’s see how this works. So I strolled up to the counter and asked the sales clerk to order the vest.
Next thing you know, out comes the iPad. He takes all my pertinent information and the vest arrives three days later at my door – no shipping costs and at the in-store sale price. I was a happy man.
This is a great example of using technology to save a sale. The ease of use and portability of tablets can change the face of in-store shopping and servicing. Stories like mine are popping up all around us. Restaurants are using tablets to take orders, and even payments. Sales associates are using tablets on the showroom floor for everything from checking to see if an item is in stock, to closing the sale. Some retailers are even using tablets for customer self-service.
The use of tablets as a retail servicing tool is still in its infancy. A recent study by RIS, “Retail Embraces Tablets” finds that only six percent of retailers surveyed have tablets fully deployed. But the same study found that nearly two-thirds of the retailers surveyed are at least testing a tablet plan in 2012.
I can’t help think that the tablet, which was commonly thought of a consumer product, will have a significant impact on retail. With its ability to convert sales and service customers in several ways – not to mention back office applications like inventory control – the tablet has a big upside for retailers.
Topics: Payments Strategy