Today’s retail associates have more selling tools at their disposal than ever before — not the least of which is the increasingly popular tablet. The mobile device has taken not only front-of-house selling to new levels but has added efficiencies and enhanced employee productivity to back-of-house functions as well. Chain Store Age talked with Mike Stinson, VP marketing of Motion Computing, about the trend toward tablets.
What are some of the most prevalent uses of tablets in the retail environment?
The most obvious is assisted selling. For example, today’s customer may have a smartphone, will have done comparative shopping in advance of the store visit, and then will enter the store in search of a specific product. The tablet enables the associate to provide that customer with additional information and features.
How does the associate best utilize the tablet in that selling situation?
Imagine presenting that customer — via a media-rich tool with a 10-in. display — with product accessories, side-by-side comparisons, information about what inventory is in stock, what pricing specials might be in play, and what kinds of warranties or rebates are available. What’s more, the associate can swipe the customer’s loyalty card and see what additional value can be provided.
Do you have a real-life example of a tablet being utilized for selling?
We have a retail furnishings customer currently involved in a tablet pilot. Using the tablet means that retailers’ sales associates don’t have to abandon customers to retrieve catalog information from the backroom. An associate can remain with the customer, pull up additional information about, for instance, a couch she is looking at, show the different colors the couch comes in, show various cushion selections and display accompanying pieces such as end tables.
In this scenario, the likelihood of completing the sale goes up and the average ticket increases as well.