iPad as a big smart phone and start thinking about it as a selling tool in your store.
Sure, the iPad is chock full of videos and games, not to mention other tools and gadgets plus a pretty potent web browsing capability. But it’s the iPad’s potential as a point-of-sale, merchandising and back-end operations tool that has specialty retailers and industry marketing gurus drooling.
Casey Ayers, founder of MegatonApps, an iPhone and iPad app development studio, says the possibilities of the iPad at retail “extend throughout the entire business. An iPad can serve as a great inventory tracking system when tied into a simple database that can be managed via iPad or a traditional computer, giving proprietors immediate access to every item in their store.
“The iPad can also be used as a display platform to show customers items that may not be in stock, or may be available in other colors, empowering stores to offer their customers options that extend well beyond what's available on the show floor.”
“Another possibility is creating a combination selection and display system for various items,” Ayers adds. “For example, a women’s retailer could use an iPad to help customers build and price an entire wardrobe, from shoes and handbag to skirt and top. Apps could be designed to intelligently suggest items that may complement the wardrobe based on category tags, color, designer, price and more.”
For marketing and operational purposes, though, the iPad is proving to be an easy-to-use tool. There’s also a “hip factor” when it’s used by customers. The Nike Sportswear store at the Montalbán Theatre in Los Angeles, for example, is using iPads to enroll customers on the store’s mailing list.