We’ve always been a fan of tablet computers and have long thought they could add fantastic value to in-store operations. But when iPads first appeared, we were very sceptical about whether Apple technology was right for our customers.
We have to admit we were wrong. We’ve spent many hours evaluating a range of alternative devices, from HP to Acer. We’re running a pilot at Aurora Fashions and have our clienteling application running on iPads in another major fashion brand. We declare ourselves converted.
Here’s eight reasons why iPads rock in fashion retail!
They help staff serve customers better – staff can photograph customers trying on garments, front and back, so that shoppers can easily see which dress and which colour suits them best, they can look at their own (or a competitor) website and place orders from the fitting room.
They’re great for clienteling – we’ve got a fab iPad clientling application especially designed for fashion but, at a more basic level, we’ve found staff keen to digitise their own “black books.
They help staff and head office communicate better – retailers often email store staff with important information, such as visual merchandising plans. These emails are accessible on the back office PC or at the till. With an iPad, staff can have the right information in their hand, wherever they are in the store. And in colour. We can’t tell you how surprised we are at how many of our customers only have black and white printers in their shops.
Everyone knows how to use one – we don’t underestimate this. People pick up iPads and use them. They don’t ask for the instruction manual or a training course or call the help desk. They just pick them up, turn them on and off they go.
They can double as an EPOS – Store 6, our EPOS software, works great on an iPad and, when the tablet’s not in use, it can dock on top of a cash drawer and double as a fixed till.
They are always on brand – change the wallpaper, add a sleeve and your iPad is immediately reflects your business’s personality.
They don’t run Windows – okay, we all know that there is no Windows device that comes close to the iPad’s usability but we think there’s more than this. Windows = work. Our experience is that people generally only use Windows devices for the purposes they are given them for. In contrast, with iPads people don’t feel constrained by the technology. They experiment, play and come up with use cases nobody had thought of.
They don’t go wrong – it’s early days but we’ve iPad apps deployed at a few retailers and in a number of countries and we’re not getting many service calls. Fingers crossed.
Director of Store Consulting
You can find out more about our mobile POS products at: http://www.btexpedite.com/mobilepos