Written by Ronald Lye
When the iPad was launched in 2010, it received its fair share of criticism. Naysayers predicted that the iPad would sell only a few million units a year, and that it would never hit the success levels enjoyed by the iPhone and iPod. Three years later, those critics have been made to eat their words. The iPad has revolutionised the world, extending its reach far beyond the tech industry into education, F & B, retail, healthcare, and many more. So how can businesses take advantage of this trend to add value to their customers?
The iPad is a convenient customer self-service tool which businesses can use to showcase a more complete and informative catalogue. Picture this scenario: You’re at a restaurant, and the waiter presents you with a thick and clunky menu. You flip through the numerous pages, unable to decide on what to order. Each item has a short description, but words alone can’t help you depict an accurate representation of the food. The menu does not contain any pictures at all. You ask the waiter for help, but he seems hesitant and unsure. Does this sound familiar? Recently, we’ve noticed an increasing number of F & B and retail outlets replacing the traditional menu with one hosted on an iPad. Navigation is simple and intuitive, product descriptions are colourful and accompanied by pictures, and customers generally enjoy using an iPad more than flipping through a dusty old menu.
Credit: Jeff Houck
The iPad can also offer a more unique customer experience, by allowing businesses to foster a deeper connection with the customer, integrating traditional business elements with technology, and enhancing the in-store experience. Imagine this: You go to a cosmetic store which carries hundreds of different products. Instead of going round the whole store searching for that one particular item you want, there are iPads available at the counter which clearly categorise the products according to brand and location at the store. The sales staff are also armed with iPads. When you ask them for recommendations, they search your name in their database, which shows your previous transactions. Scanning a product will bring up reviews from other customers. There’s even an app which recommends the ideal product for you based on your features. These iPad-related techniques allow businesses to create brand-new shopping experiences for their customers.
The iPad, being only three years old, is still considered a novelty in the business world. Soon enough, its convenience, innovative features, and flexibility will make it a necessity for businesses looking to add value to their customers. Do not be a casualty of this inevitable power shift towards iPads and tablet PCs. Embrace it and find ways to integrate the iPad into your business models. More and more businesses are coming on board.