iPad domination within the retail sector!

So it would appear that the iPad is revolutionising the way we shop

Recently, Argos introduced their new digitalised stores where shoppers visit the outlet and rather than browsing through the trusty conventional catalogue, they are able to view and place their orders as well as check current stock levels via iPads set out within the store. You place the items you wish to purchase in the basket, check out by adding a quick memorable word and then collect and pay at one of the checkout points. The Argos store at the Tollgate centre in Colchester was one of the very first to be opened offering this exact service and bringing Argos into the new digital era. Admittedly when I first visited the store, I had to ask for assistance. I wonder how my fellow 30 somethings, who were also brought up in the 80s and only had use of the first generation PCs whilst at school, are finding this new revolution? I do own an iPad, and I use this daily, but I am sure I do not use this extraordinary device to its full capabilities and watching my 14 year niece using hers, would confirm this.

Fulfilment and E Logistics

I now see from issue 68 of the Fulfilment and E.Logistics magazine that Monsoon Accessorize are heading dusing ipads for shopping online own a similar path. They have decided to reverse the concept of click and collect and are piloting schemes within a number of their stores where customers can approach a member of staff inside the shop, who will have on their person, you guessed it, an iPad. They can purchase in-store using this method but instead of taking the product away with them, they can have the item delivered to their home. This, of course, not only ensuring a sale, regardless if the item is in stock, but also allowing the purchaser to continue their retail therapy session bag free. Which, for myself, would more than likely be a dangerous status quo as I would continue on my way forgetting that I had already made purchases and would most certainly continue to spend more money (not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing).

This new system from Monsoon Accessorize is most definitely modernising the consumers shopping experience because not only will it check for stock from all possible locations such as the shop floor, store rooms and the company’s e-commerce distribution centre but it will also be fully integrated with the store’s P.O.S (Point of Sale) system which will permit the sale to be completed through the P.O.S system using the wireless chip and PIN device, keeping in line with the method of how we all pay for our goods on a daily basis nowadays.

Aside from the Monsoon Accessorize stores, many retailers are making it ever easier for shoppers to not have to leave their homes in order to spend their money. Pretty much every high street retailer has an e-commerce platform attached to their website to enable us to view items, purchase them and have them delivered to a convenient address. I have to admit that I personally prefer to be able to handle an item, try it on before buying and shop around for alternatives – I wonder how many others are with me on this?

Reluctantly, many of us will drag ourselves into the 21st century to keep up with popular demand, however I fear that this will be another factor that will affect the high street sales. It really won’t be long before any of us no longer need to leave the safety of our living rooms to embark on retail therapy. Will it be “therapy” though if we are all carrying out the shopping, sitting at home, alone, whereas previously we would have been using it as an excuse to meet up with friends and enjoy “window” shopping and a liquid lunch!


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