Posted: Oct. 6, 2011, 4:30 p.m. EDT
Tablets and smart phones are redefining how retailers interact with consumers and will be a $5 billion market per year by 2015, according to a study released today by analyst firm IHL Group.
The study, entitled Mobility: A Gutenberg Moment for Retail, A Threat to POS, found that the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire have created price points and form factors for mobile devices that are allowing retailers to arm their associates with tools to transform the in-store experience.
By 2015, more than 2.7 million tablets a year will be shipped to North American retail stores and restaurants for use by associates and employees, an increase of 450 percent, according to the study. Specialty retailers will deploy nearly half of all tablets shipped to retail.
IHL Group president Greg Buzek said a complete transformation of the customer experience will occur at clothing and department stores over the next three years.
|Mobile devices, such as tablets, are redefining the retail shopping experience, according to a new study.|
“Store personnel will be able to greet shoppers with their devices, access purchase history, help customers accessorize and even walk around as a personal shopper and check out the consumer—all from the same device,” Buzek said.
Another area where customers will see more tablets is at restaurants, where diners will be able to place their own orders at the table and access games and other entertainment.
Other key findings include:
• Handhelds will have a dramatic impact on traditional POS shipments over time, reducing the growth of POS shipments by 11 percent in 2015 and, in some segments, by as much as 20 percent from previously forecasted volumes. By 2015, annual shipments of mobile devices will be four times that of traditional POS terminals.
• While many would suggest that lower-priced consumer devices will displace sales of rugged handhelds, this will not be the case. Instead, this market will rise close to 30 percent over the next four years through more competitive offerings.
• Non-rugged handhelds (mobile phones) will experience heavy growth over the next two years as well, with restaurants deploying nearly half of all such devices shipped to retail.<HOME>
“The desire for the ‘Apple Store experience’ among retailers is being driven at the CEO level on down, and its momentum is undeniable,” Buzek said. “For years, retailers have been looking for technology to both provide associates with more data on the products they are offering and recognize and reward customers as they come through that door. Mobile devices are making this possible.”
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