Future of Retail: Tablet Enabled Service

Future of Retail: Tablet Enabled Service

The introduction of internet-enabled mobile devices is allowing sales staff to create a personalized shopping experience that helps ensure repeat business.

Kyle Studstill
  • 2 june 2010

PSFK Future of Retail Tablet Enabled Service

This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Retail. Tablet Enabled Service is one trend of ten that appears in our exploration of how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience, both in and out of the store, from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities.


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 to information on the web alongside one-on-one assistance from sales staff to create a personalized shopping experience that helps ensure repeat business.


  • Leverage technology within the retail environment to provide customized experiences for shoppers based on their particular needs
  • By using handheld devices, sales staff are freed from desk positions to interact with customers and help with transactions
  • Provide staff with the 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 a their previous shopping data – purchases, preferences etc
  • Consider being more transparent by letting customers watch transactions on screen such as inventory searches and checkout. This small bit of participation brings customers into the process and encourages patience and participation

Supporting Examples for Tablet Enabled Service:


Hotels Equip Front Desk Staff WIth iPads
In an effort to offer better service to its guests, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to equip its concierge teams with ipads, enabling them to provide local recommendations, interactive content and turn-by-turn directions and complete transactions such as tour bookings and restaurant reservations all from one handheld device.


iPod Touch Provides Personalized Shopping Experience
When shoppers visit appliance manufacturer Miele’s latest store in Vianen in the Netherlands they are asked to register basic information and in return are given an ipod touch that leads them on a tailored guide for the store. the device also reacts with the information displays and store elements to create an interactive browsing tour.

MiBar Martini

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.

Home Depot

Floor Staff Equipped With Handheld Devices
Home Depot has announced a plan to distribute 10,000 portable devices to its store associates during 2010. the handhelds will assist staff with stocking shelves, locating inventory, communicating both in-store and with other locations and checking out customers throughout the store. In testing the devices, Home Depot found that its stores ran more efficiently and provided a better overall level of service.

Hyatt Kyoto

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.

Mercedes iPad Showroom

Car Dealer To Use iPads On The Showroom Floor
In an effort to provide better customer service on the showroom floor, Mercedes-Benz Financial 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.

Request your free Copy Of The Future Of Retail Report here.

In just over 80 pages, PSFK Consulting provide an analysis of the Future of Retail. This free report explores a future from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities – highlighting how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience both in and out of the store. It features interviews with senior executives from Ace HotelPolyvoreStarbucks andTarget. The trends identified within this document and the examples used to bring them to life are inspired by innovation from around the globe.



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