Apple’s iPad Meets the Retail Business
It wasn’t hard to guess where the recent Ad Age article was going with
the headline: IPad Poised to Revolutionize Retail Industry. So what
exactly is the iPad going to do to accomplish this feat?
In simple terms, fans
of the new gadget and its aps believe
it will change catalogs by making them more dynamic with the use of audio,
video and, of course, wireless purchasing. The Ad Age article
pointed to the Gap’s 1969 Stream ap as an example of what retailers can do
to transform catalogs. The interactive program includes content from
designers, music, geo-locators to find the nearest store and more.
Kevin Ertell, VP-retail strategy at Forsee Results, told Ad Age the
iPad will eventually replace a host of devices found in stores including kiosks
and hand-held scanners. "We’ll need to see the price come down
before it gets to chain retail stores," he said.
Edward Brojerdi, president-MDC Innovation Partners, said, "Without
a doubt, the iPad will have a dramatic impact on the in-store retail experience.
There are some logistical details to get sorted out — how do we make sure
they don’t walk out the door, that people aren’t going to different screens
— before it becomes ubiquitous, but it will happen."
As a customer-facing technology, the iPad will enable a more satisfying shopping
experience by enabling customers and/or the sales associate helping them to
customize purchases and place special orders. It can also serve as a de facto
personal shopping device helping consumers draw items from across the store
to complete a wardrobe, home entertainment system or any other component-based
Discussion Questions: Is there any reality to the hype that Apple’s iPad
will revolutionize the retail industry? Where do you think it will have its
biggest effect? Where do you think it will fall well short of the hype?