An interesting thing is happening in stores. Retailers who were fast out of the box to test tablets on the floor
have assimilated their learning and are
proceeding to integrate them into the
Admittedly, the retailers who are refreshing their stores with tablets may have customers nudging them along the path of
incorporating more technology.
Consumers can walk down
the corridor of a shopping center and see tablet programs
presented in vastly different ways. Some retailers are
simply using hand-held tablets without any consumer-facing configuration. Kiosks
and counter units offer the
flexibility of both self-service
and assisted selling experiences. Their functionality can
• Extended inventory
• Complete looks
• Videos and product
• Product comparison
• Loyalty interfaces
• Payment card readers
For most shoppers, the process of using a
touchscreen kiosk for exploration or pur-
chase has become intuitive. In-store mer-
chandising companies have created a
variety of metal or injection-molded floor-
stands that accommodate different brands
of tablets and turn them into self-service
Sephora uses tablet kiosks in partnership
with nail salon XpresSpa to showcase ser-
vices that can be offered in-store and pro-
vide access to tutorials for do-it-yourself
customers to try at home.
Counter units allow for collaboration in settings like jewelry or cosmetic departments.
They can offer many of the same functions
that self-service kiosks provide.
Clinique is placing iPad counter units
in a reported 1,300 department stores.
Customers can use the brand’s skin diagnostic application to assess their personal
requirements among 180,000 product
combinations. The location at the cosmetics
counter allows for collaboration with sales
The compact nature of tablets makes them
ideal for constricted areas or portable hand-held uses, but they can also be a hardware
component of a large, impactful display
wall that incorporates branded graphics or
even digital signage.
The Lowe’s Canada light bulb education
center integrated a tablet into a larger category display so customers could access an
application explaining the options in the
category. The display included static signage, digital signage, and a recycling center.
Retailers who are using tablets for checkout appreciate their multifunctionality.
They can accommodate inventory checking, ordering, product information, and sales
Belk stores are working to
better integrate customer
data with online and in-store
sales. A new storewide POS
system will include wireless
tablets for sales staff that give
access to customers’ purchase
Retailers should be thinking about how tablets or some
other type of small-footprint interactive
element can improve the customer journey
or decrease friction points in purchasing.
Brands should be thinking about how to
partner with a retailer to build an interactive experience that elevates your product
in the mind of shoppers.
By Ron Bowers
Your Retail Tablet Program
4 Ways to Configure
Ron Bowers, ron.bowers@
frankmayer.com, is SVP of
business development for
Frank Mayer and Associates
Inc. Based in Grafton, Wis.,
Frank Mayer designs and manufactures
merchandising displays, interactive kiosks,
retail-ready displays, and P-O-P.
Frank Mayer and Associates
Inc. recently published a
white paper, Using Tablets
to Transform Retail
Experience. Download it