Retail stores across the country have begun putting iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches into the hands of employees, allowing for more customer interaction and less time behind the counter at a computer. As of today, you can add one more retail chain to the list of places incorporating iDevices as tools: Sears.
This week, Sears will begin a staged rollout of iPads and iPod Touches in 450 stores nationwide, in an effort to improve the consumer shopping experience.
iDevices won’t be used for checkout, as in Apple Stores, but they will allow employees to help consumers to quickly access information about available store inventory, order out-of-stock items online, and find detailed product information, all without having to rely on a store employee behind a counter.
In addition to the new iPads and iPod Touches, the next time you visit a Sears store you’ll also have access to free wireless Internet, through newly enhanced network infrastructures designed to allow customers to use in-store and personal devices at any time while shopping.
The iPads and iPod Touches will also be used to hasten employee training, task management, and productivity by helping them become more knowledgable about store products and enabling them to help customers with no delay.
In the future, Sears plans to add customized applications and features to its iDevices to continue to make shopping even easier and more enjoyable for customers. This is a great step forward for Sears, and hopefully more major retail outlets will follow its lead.
More than half of the stores I’ve visited in the last few months have incorporated iPads as an employee tool, and I love the modernization of the retail experience. I’ve come across an employee who could immediately help me find the size and color of an item I was searching for, without leaving my sight. At the same time, I’ve also experienced an employee who wasn’t able to use her iPad efficiently, which is hopefully a problem we consumers won’t run into often. Have you had any experiences with retail stores using iPads and iPod Touches? Let us know in the comments.