White Paper| Tablets in Business

How Tablets are changing the way businesses run

Author : 42Gears Team

INTRODUCTION

Mass global adoption by consumers worldwide has established tablet computers as stable, reliable and contemporary technology. This paved the way for its enterprise adoption. Few visionaries tested the water by deploying tablets in businesses in small numbers. In the beginning, tablets were used as tools to attract eyeballs. Now, it is rapidly becoming an essential part of every business not for just attracting consumers but to achieve brand loyalty and enhancing customer shopping experience that was not possible few years ago. Retail, Hospitality, Automotive and Healthcare Industries are early adopters. A glimpse of some key markets which has put tablets to test:

RETAIL INDUSTRY

Tablets whether its iPad, Galaxy tab, Nexus 7 or Microsoft’s surface, all these have seen great global adoption in recent times. It hasn’t taken long for retailers to recognize that these tablets can make their brick and mortar experience better. Segments like cosmetic, apparels and jewelry have shown positive effects. Here consumers visualize and compare different combinations before making a purchase decision. Customers can check store inventory, compare products, check customer reviews, scan items and place orders. It can help sales associates and store manager to assist customers.

Usability in Retail sector:

  • Scrolling tablets at multiple locations: High cost large screen signage can be replaced by low-cost small tablets at multiple locations, scrolling offers in the vicinity and thus catching targeted and relevant eyeballs.
  • Placed/fixed tablets on shopping carts: By providing tablets to customers when they enter a mall or shop or by fixing it on the shopping cart, quick relevant information regarding price, appearance, and suitability of products can be provided without any hassle.
  • Information on demand: Tablets can inculcate interest in products by displaying information about products’ ingredients, nutritional facts, and recipe at the touch of a finger, instead of monotonous looping demonstration on large signage.
  • Augmented Reality in Retail Stores: Customized apparel recommendation can be provided by full body scanning on tablets. Many retailers use virtual fitting apps as an advertising tool to enhance their sales and customer experience. Interior retailer Franc is trying to simulate furniture arrangement for its customers. One can take a picture of a room from a tablet, selects pieces of furniture, place them inside the room and see the appearance of the furniture on-screen. Toshiba is planning to do the same for its appliance retail stores. Augmented Reality industry is predicted to grow many folds in years to come and tablets present themselves as the most favored platform for them.
  • Reducing time and post-purchase dissonance: Demonstrating all possible combinations of products on customers’ tablets leads to a quick decision, reducing time spent by staff on per transaction and also decreases post-purchase dissonance which leads to brand loyalty.

HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

The hospitality industry is a multi-billion dollar industry which includes restaurants, transportation, travel, entertainment, hotels and amusement parks. This industry depends upon the consumer’s disposable income. Let us have glimpses of how hospitality enterprises can benefit by deploying tablets.

Hotels

Decades ago, hotels relied on static signs in different formats such as paper posters and etched metal plates. As the industry grew, these traditional formats become obsolete due to high printing costs, lead time, paper and metal waste. For updating these posters human resources are also required. Hotels needed to deploy flexible devices that allow rotating ads and changing content anytime. Success entirely depends on responsiveness in the service industry, whether it is to provide guests on the spot directions, making suggestions and to entertain them when required. Few usages of tablets in Hospitality are:

  • Tablets in hotels enable easier check in: Instead of attending large no. of customers at a single point, hotels can place multiple tablets accessible to customers for self-check-in at various locations in reception and thus reduce time and effort.
  • Customized service: Customers can view available rooms, room interiors & decor, sights, locations and go through the services available and choose a custom plan.
  • Easy access to menu: Tablets can be provided in the rooms or can be fixed at a point of access through which customers can easily access menu items for breakfast, lunch & dinner and order accordingly.
  • Tablets serve as a multipurpose tool: Tablet in rooms can serve multiple purposes such as a reminder, telephone directory, telephone, providing entertaining options, live videos of tourist places, information of shuttles provided by the hotel for tourists and their timings as well, etc.

Restaurants

Tablets on display have been a natural choice to streamline the customization in services process in restaurants. They’ve also been providing the flexibility of digital menu choices that enhance customer’s experience as well as make the restaurant more efficient. Moreover, these interactive, searchable menus can be edited by the restaurant owners on their prices, availability, and specialty of the items.

  • Customers can use tablets as self-service ordering, see the detailed description of food and access to lists of food ingredient with their calorie counts.
  • They can provide an opportunity to enhance customer engagement by promotions and social media.
  • Restaurant owners can provide information regarding events hosted by them and tickets to grab customers’ attention.
  • Tablets can be used as kiosks, table display and handheld for taking orders.
  • Processing payments through tablets minimizes human errors, reduces wait time and expedites transaction.
  • Tablets can serve as easier and effective way of taking customer feedback.

Tablets as a signage solution provide the customers and restaurant owners a unique user experience that is interactive, entertaining and highly productive.

TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY

Airlines and airports, railways and roadways, ports and logistic companies are deploying tablets for making their businesses more profitable, smarter and faster. It is used for everything from passenger, baggage check-in to tracking assets and resources. They need to track the exact location and status of inventory, passengers, baggage and in-transit freight. These mobile devices are equipped with all the technology, power and functionality required. Some of the applications are:

Airlines/Airports

  • Ensuring on time arrivals and departures by facilitating timely communication.
  • Provide ticketing and self check-in which reduces paperwork & man force.

With the increasing number of travelers and businesses, getting people and cargo to the right place at the right time is a challenge for transportation industry. These interactive, portable, easy to use mobile devices standardize workflows, facilitate proper communications on time and providing critical information.

AUTOMATIVE INDUSTRY

Mobile devices are used in automotive industry from design and development to manufacturing, marketing and selling motor vehicles. Tablets on display have been streamlining the car customization process in luxury automobile showrooms for their customers. It provides ease for companies to provide customize the product to the client. Customers can use tablets to access all available options and combinations with their budget. This minimizes errors and expedites the paperwork involved in purchasing a vehicle.

CONCLUSION

Traditional retail, hospitality and automotive industries are the early adopters of tablets. They were the first to test the waters and benefitted beyond their expectations. Tablets have proved themselves as an appealing tool for customer engagement at the point of service. With amazing connectivity, large display and great computing resource, tablets are providing fresh ways for enterprises to excite and gratify customers.

REFERENCES

  • Tablets as Restaurant menus (http://www.techbucket.org.)
  • The proper use of Tablets in Retail- Digital Signage, Sarah Colson Dec.17, 2012.
  • Planning for a tablet display designing for success, Frank Mayer and Associates Inc.
  • Will augmented reality technology replace fitting rooms with apps, tablets? Feb.19, 2013. 
  • Global digital signage, dynamic signage, electronic signage, narrowcasting market report (2011-2016), Markets and Markets, Jan. 2012, Pages: 211.
  • Digital Restaurant Menu for Android Tablets.