Beyond an evolving decentralized shopping experience, retailers must begin to contemplate the impact of digital media and the effects it is having on purchase decisions. Connected devices, whether a mobile phone or a web-enabled in-store kiosk, are making what was once a solitary trip to the store a socially connected event.
As shoppers go through the process of discovering new products, testing them, and reflecting on their purchases, they are sharing these thoughts with their social networks and influencing perception amongst their peer group. Retailers must embrace and facilitate this sharing of information, and retail outlets need to evolve to create experiences that drive sales both in-store and within online social networks.
The introduction of internet-enabled mobile devices like the iPhone and the iPad into store environments is allowing retailers to deliver a higher level of service to their customers. The in-store experience can now provide real-time access information on the web alongside one-on-one assistance from sales staff to create a personalised shopping experience that help ensure repeat business.
By using handheld devices, employees are freed from desk positions to interact with travellers and help with transactions.
Employees are increasingly equipping their staff with wireless handheld devices, such as an iPad, which allows brands to provide an even better customer experience. These tools enable retailers for example to better access real-time information on the web, instilling greater confidence in their ability to provide superior customer service.
This will in turn provide staff with tools to easily access information within stores, instilling greater confidence in their ability to provide superior customer service.
Offer customers an experience that feels both personal and exclusive by giving staff an easy way to access their previous shopping data – purchases preferences etc.
Consider being more transparent by letting customers watch transactions on screen such as recommendations, inventory searches and checkout. This brings customers into the process and encourages patience and participation.
iPads Replace Menus at Australian Restaurant
An upscale Sydney restaurant, Mundo Global Tapas, is replacing their paper menus with the interactive tablet. Customers use the restaurant-provided iPads to not only browse menu selections and order food, but access photos of every dish and even notify chefs of how they want their steaks cooked.
Luxury Hotel Provides Personal iPad For Each Customer
London’s Berkeley Hotel plans to offer hotel guests iPads for the duration of their stay. The iPad comes with selected apps that help craft the travelers experience in the area – like suggesting the top-five places to visit, and a providing a list of local hidden gems. The device becomes a travel guide for customers by helping map out their itinerary with restaurant and location recommendations to make it into a better traveling experience.
Major Hotel Chain Plans To Equip Concierges With iPads
Intercontinental Hotels Group, a multi-national company that manages several hotel brands including Holiday Inn, have conducted tests to research the benefits of hotel staff being equipped with iPads. Results have shown that concierges with an iPad by their side are more versatile to fulfill services for hotel guests. By not being stationed at their behind-the-counter desktop computers, concierges are able to roam around the lobby to assist their customers, creating a less static method of customer service. The company also discovered that by supplying iPads to concierges, it greatly reduces the time of training for new employees, crediting the tablet’s intuitive interface.
New York Hotel Makes iPad A Control Panel For Hotel Preferences
One of New York’s top luxury hotels, The Plaza, is among the early iPad-adopters to help enhance the customer experience. The hotel plans to do this by giving their customers control of a large assortment of hotel-related activities straight from the iPad – like requesting room service, scheduling wake-up calls, making spa appointments, and printing boarding passes.
Car Dealer To Use iPads On The Showroom Floor
In an effort to provide better customer service on the showroom floor, Mercedes-Benz will distribute ipads to 40 selected dealers throughout the United States to test the handheld device as a business tool. the company points to the numerous benefits – the tablets will provide salespeople with instant access to marketing programs for specific vehicle models, quicker turn around time on the credit application process, and increased speed and efficiency on the return of lease vehicles.
Japanese Hotel Lends Pre-Loaded iPhones To Guests
During the flower viewing season in Kyoto, the Hyatt Regency Hotel handed out iPhones to its guest to help them better navigate the city and take in the sights. the phones came with pre-installed apps, focusing on the special events taking place, including an events calendar, cultural background, tourist information and GPS navigation to get around.
Interactive Nightlife Space Connects Patrons And Staff
Upon entering the MiBar Martini Bar in South africa, patrons log in to a special network that is accessed through touchscreen interfaces throughout the interior, allowing them to interact with other patrons and bar staff. Customers use these MiTables to access the menu and order specialty drinks.
Malaysia Airlines introduces iPad ticket kiosks
If you are a frequent user of Asian carriers, traveling will be simpler and more convenient with the presence of new ticketing iPad kiosks. One of the major airlines in Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has released the iPad booths in order to attract more customers and to boost revenue.
With a 7.9-inch wide touch screen, you can easily book a flight, choose your preferred seat, check flight arrival and departure schedules, find the status of your missing baggage, find out your flight status and enjoy a variety of exclusive offers. Also, the kiosks provide both printed and electronic boarding passes and are equipped with passport and card readers. Simpler, faster and greener the airline’s official website claims that paperless itineraries and no administrative fees will be good for the earth and for travelers’ pockets.
Jetstar Airlines offer iPad on in-flight menu
Apple iPads will be available for Australian budget airline passengers to rent, Quantas-owned Jetstar has announced. The airline will offer iPads, pre-loaded with movies, TV, books, music and games on select flights.
Cathay Pacific launches a customised airline applications for iPad
Cathay Pacific’s new iPad application is now available from Apple’s iTunes store. The airline’s CX Mobile application for the iPad can now be downloaded free of charge, and offers users access to a wide range of Cathay Pacific services and information.
In addition to providing all the functionality of the CX Mobile app developed for the iPhone and other handheld devices, the iPad application also enables users to make bookings for their Cathay Pacific flights.
As well as being able to book their flights, iPad users now have access to Cathay Pacific services such as checking in for flights, checking the status of flights, accessing flight schedules and managing their bookings. CX Mobile also links users to Marco Polo Club information and insights into more than 70 destinations worldwide through the popular City Guides.
Singapore Airlines gets iPod & iPhone support
The new function allows passengers to listen to music and watch videos on their iPod or iPhone through the inflight entertainment system built into the seat.
The connector is included in a multi-port panel placed next to the 26cm inflight entertainment screen on the seat back.
In addition to the iPod and iPhone connectivity, there’s also a regular USB port, allowing Singapore Airlines customers to listen to their own music, view photos or read PDFs.
The system also provides a standard audio-video input, which enables you to plug in any portable media player that offers A/V output and watch videos on the seat-back screen.
As demonstrated above, Apple offers brands some tantalising opportunities. Whether you are in the airline, hospitality or retail sector your brand can benefit from a viable mass-market tool that increases customer engagement.
If you would like to know how your company can expand its brand experience by adapting a tablet enabled service please contact us at email@example.com
Special thanks to PSFK