According to new research from RIS News, tablet computers are being deployed in the retail store at an astonishing rate. From the study, 28 percent of retailers surveyed reported they were currently testing tablet computers in their stores. In addition, 31 percent reported they plan to begin testing tablets by the end of 2012.
So with almost 3 out of 5 retailers using tablets or about to test them in the store, what are some of the common mistakes that retailers encounter when using these mobile devices at the point of purchase?
Last month, I spoke with three retailers that have recently deployed point of sale solutions on the Apple iPad:
- Stacey Barnes is the co-owner of the Scottsdale-based toffee shop, GoodyTwos
- Jerry Hancock is the CEO of dessert chain SubZero Ice Cream
- Gary Schmeck is the owner the California-based bike studio, Cyclopedia of Redding
These merchants had four great tips that I wanted to share for other retailers considering deploying tablets in their stores.
1. Invest Modestly in Hardware: The merchants suggested that other business owners invest in tablets slowly. Because of the availability of tablets, including the iPad, retailers can successfully begin deployment with a one-for-one switch of tablets for traditional cash registers. If retailers decide that more are necessary, additional tablets can easily be purchased and deployed as needed.
2. Upgrade Infrastructure: An important upgrade to consider for retailers is to the store’s Internet and wireless networks. Because of the additional demand and strain caused by these wireless computers, retailers may be wise to upgrade their store’s Internet bandwidth. In addition, retailers should ensure that that wireless routers meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
3. Ask for Help from Resellers, Consultants and Experts: If merchants own multiple stores and need to integrate hardware and inventory, it would be wise to consult with mobile device management (MDM) experts. In addition, consultants and resellers with expertise deploying on tablet devices should be consulted with prior to testing.
4. Integrate the Tablet and Involve the Customer at Checkout: Finally, merchants should make the tablets a focal point of their retail strategy. Allow customers to witness transactions on the tablets, utilize the device’s camera, Internet browser and social media capabilities. Highlighting the cutting-edge technology can help make the checkout process a little more fun–and the final bill a bit more palatable.