2014 will be the year of Tablet Deployment in the Retail space.
Tablets were test-piloted across a wide variety of retailers in 2013 including restaurants, stadiums, banks and even car rental agencies. Retailers used the pilots to determine the best way to present a consistent merchandising and transactional experience to their customers. Tablets are used to speed service, some are used to improve the experience and some have been used to integrate the in-store experience across all of the retailer’s on-line, mobile, and in-store touch-points. One thing is clear, mobile is quickly becoming the cement between physical stores and web sites and tablets with their larger screens are providing a better in-store experience. If 2013 was the year of the test pilot, 2014 is shaping to be the year of massive roll-out!
Chilies test piloted android tablets in 180 of their restaurants and the program has been so successful they plan to roll out the concept to all of the chains 1,300 restaurants by the second quarter of 2014. Customers can order from the devices, children can play games on the devices and best of all, no waiting for busy-wait staff to bring the check. The chain has found that sales of starters has increased by 20% and deserts by 30%. This is easy to understand, food photos on a tablet device are so much better, mouth-watering if you will, than in grease smeared laminated poster board menus they have replaced. It’s no wonder that sales have increased.
Stadiums including Soldier Field are getting in on the game (sorry), Aramark has upgraded aging cash registers with ordering tablets where customer can track the progress of their order and earn bonus points for future purchases. Hertz implemented iPad kiosks in 800 locations across their car rental footprint last year and plans to implement the concept across its global footprint by 2015. Hertz chairman and CEO, Mark Frissora commented “Since we unveiled the first redesigned locations, customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.” There are always early adopters and followers and Applebee’s noting Chili’s success plans to roll-out 100,000 presto tablets in their 1,800 restaurants in 2014.
Bottom-line: Tablets have proved their worth in retail by increasing ROI and improving the customer experience. As a result tablets will garner greater penetration in brick-n-mortar retail in the next two years as consumers want easy access to product information and services that will shape their buying decisions making the purchase process easier. Most importantly, tablets allow sales associates to move from behind the sales counter to interact with customers on the sales floor for a better more service oriented and engaging customer experience.
Photo Credits: Ziosk & Design the bottom Line .