We’ve written earlier this year how the iPad is replacing the cash register at smaller shops. Now retail giants such as Lowe’s and Home Depot are dumping the traditional till for the tablet.
“Everyone is looking at the Apple technology line,” Sandeep Bhanote, CEO of mobile retail expert Global Bay tells Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital. “It’s an Apple world in retail, although that could change next year,” he said.
The iPad is ringing up sales and helping home-improvement customers find the perfect faucet or paint style. Last week, Lowe’s said it was rolling out 42,000 iOS-based devices in its U.S. and Canadian stores. “Leveraging Apple’s iPhone technology, our employees will check inventory availability, access how-to videos and utilize lowes.com from the aisles of the store,” CEO Robert Niblock told reporters.
This comes after rival Home Depot in 2010 said it would 30,000 First Phone mobile devices in its stores. First Phones were described by the Atlanta Constitution as an “amped-up BlackBerry.” However, the retail mobile battle appears to have swung Apple’s way.
Along with clothing retailers Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters, surfer shop Pacific Sunwear is outfitting 300 stores with iPads with plans to double that number by 2012. Like other retailers, Pacific Sunwear employees will use the iPads to help customers find items, place an order, take payments and initiate shipping. “The next phase is introducing a commerce component,” Bhanote says. What’s been customers’ reaction to the iPads? In one case, order size has jumped 12 percent, according to the ATD article.
But cash registers turned apps is not the only way iPads are transforming retailing. As Apple transforms its retail stores based on its Apple Store 2.0 design, iPads are integral, appearing as interactive displays of products.