Mobile technology is making a huge impact on small businesses today, allowing them to provide customers with a more personal experience and boost productivity. According to an infographic from Intuit, micro- and small businesses are embracing the use of tablets more than large or mid-sized businesses, and Constant Contact Small Biz Council reports that 66 percent of small business owners use a mobile device, including tablets, to conduct business such as social media marketing and email marketing. What’s more, the survey found that 18 percent utilize a tablet-based payment point-of-sale system, and 18 percent use mobile apps to manage operations such as accounting. Here are four ways retailers can use tablets to conduct and boost business:
A More Personal Experience
Tablets allow retailers to record important customer information. Coiffeur's Salon in Phoenix, for example, uses iPads during the consultation process to show a client new hairstyles and retrieve profile information on existing clients. “It enables us to store customer profile details, pictures, color formulas and more,” says co-owner Loren Bennink. “This helps to personalize the overall client experience, as well as strengthen communication within the salon. Having client profile details available at the stylists’ fingertips enables them to pick up where previous conversations ended.”
Using tablets as an alternative to traditional signage allows for an inexpensive and easy way for retailers to display important information on products, promotions and other details that can help drive consumer sales. Information can be easily updated throughout the day, week or month depending on changing business needs and target consumers.
Faster and More Precise Check-Out
Small businesses can also use tablets to help make the check-out process faster, easier and more efficient. At Coiffeur’s Salon, stylists are able to finalize client tickets directly on a tablet prior to the customer checking out at the receptionist desk. “It makes for an efficient flow and transition from the chair to the check-out,” says Bennink.
Likewise, New York City-based wine and spirits shop Downtown Cellars uses an IPad for customer purchases in conjunction with a program called ShopKeep, a cloud-based point-of-sale system designed by Jason Richelson, Downtown Cellars’ former owner. ShopKeep features color-coded check-out buttons, a customizable layout and built-in modifiers that increase the speed of transactions. Customers can also sign directly on the screen, which saves time and money on paper costs.
Tracking inventory can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but tablets can make this process easier and more efficient by using specific apps that are available to provide employees with immediate access to up-to-date inventory information in the palm of their hands. Inventory Tracker for Android tablets, for example, helps retailers track their inventory through the product life cycle, while SOS Inventory, which integrates with QuickBooks and works on any tablet, allows business owners to create purchase orders, manage inventory, generate packing slips and more.
It is not just today’s tech-savvy consumers that rely on the use of mobile technology for many day-to-day tasks, small businesses have embraced the idea of using tablets to conduct business. In addition to offering consumers a more personal experience, tablets can act as a helping hand by providing retailers with business-enhancing information and programs right at the