Tablet Opportunities for Retailers

With over 20 million iPad’s sold since their debut just over a year ago, it’s not surprising to learn that device owners are spending more time with their shiny new toy than other screens like their phone, desktop or laptop, or television. A growing percentage are going beyond Angry Birds and the New York Times, to spend time – and more importantly, money – shopping their favorite retail stores using their iPad.

What could really shake up the retail industry is placing an iPad in the hands of associates on the sales floor. Imagine staff, armed with information and access, helping customers when and where they’re shopping, and closing the deal by ringing up sales in the aisle. That’ s what Nordstrom just announced plans for: put 5,000 tablet devices into associates’ hands across their stores by July to check store inventory and process payments.

In fact, Shop.org recently released industry research regarding retailers’ use of tablets and how important they are to their business in their State of Retailing Online report.

When it comes to inserting tablets into their daily operations, the survey found 30 percent of respondents said a main objective for their mobile platform will be to provide store associates with tablets to improve selling.

Retailers understand the real value of a well-trained and educated store associate, and with high turn-over, it’s a challenge to provide a consistent experience around complex categories like health and wellness. Giving associates access to additional information, product-level details, inventory updates, and other resources to help shoppers at the point of decision is a win-win for the store, as well as the shopper.

At Aisle7, we see tablet devices as a huge opportunity for our customers who want to help shoppers find the right product for their health goals while staying regulatory compliant. Customer demand is why we’ve developed our Aisle7 IN-STORE health and wellness content application for use on the iPad. We just made the announcement last month and already have orders coming in.

Deloitte forecasts that in 2011, 25% of all tablets will be bought for business, and retailers will lead all industries in their adoption. Will you be the first in your industry?