You get it: technology for technology's sake is a bad thing. You want to help your sales staff enhance the consumer shopping experience and you know that tablets are a window into realizing that goal. You don't want employees using tablets as a crutch or a means to avoid human interaction with precious customers. So how can these issues be dealt with so that shoppers get the best of technology-empowered staff? Here are two approaches to get you started.
Embrace price comparison/showrooming: Retail brands that are sizable enough can acquire ongoing, near real-time competitive price information, either by scraping data from competitors' websites or in-the-field acquisition. Not easy, but it can be worthwhile, here's why:
Although you may not offer the lowest prices, empowering sales people with pertinent pricing facts enables them to preemptively move the sales conversation to the value proposition and away from markdown discussions. They might say to a customer, "Allow me to show you my data. According to our research, two competitors have lower prices, but we provide _________ and ________." The value proposition is not a new concept, but using a store sanctioned tablet to openly embrace the practice, making it visual, and training employees to truly engage effectively with this method is novel and persuasive.
Tap hidden product knowledge: Look up most any product anywhere (even Amazon) and the description is typically the same manufacturer's verbiage. People who know their merchandise know lots more than the basics; they know alternative uses, hidden features, time saving tips, and more.
Take the top 10 products in each category you sell, study them, take cues from your boots on the floor, and create original product descriptions/images/videos for your tablets. Train the sales team to commit those details to memory and how to properly share them with customers. You will have an immediate value-add that's unique and compelling. Include authentic user comment/review videos and it's more powerful yet.
These are launching points to successfully integrate store-issued mobile technology to increase satisfaction and delight among retail shoppers. You can branch out from here. Like any other initiative, originality, brand-centricity, logic, understanding customer needs, and the delivery of explicit benefits must be the outcome, or tablets will be just as annoying to consumers as stuck shopping cart wheels.
Are customers willing to trust stores to provide honest/unbiased comparitive information?