Friday, September 9, 2011

Time For Retails To Embrace Mobile - Lowe's To Use iPhones To Serve Customers


Retailer businesses using some kind of a handheld to let their employees complete transactions with customers is nothing new.  It's been happening for years.  However, it's Apple's use if iPod touches in their own stores that really got the attention of everyone.  I know, it's unfair but it's Apple.  Everything that they do, even if others have done it before, gets more attention these days.

Now, Lowes has joined the mobile revolution and doing it in a big big way.  According to Bloomberg, Lowe's, the second biggest home improvement retailer, will try to use this new coolness to catch up to Home Depot, better serve its customers, and increase efficiency among its workforce.

It'll be arming the retail workers with 42K iPhones to help customers and complete transactions.  I suppose see how Apple has done away with lines of cashier machines that take up valuable retail space is giving Lowe's better use for that space.  Perhaps more kiosks for batteries, tools, and whatever else people need for making their homes better.

I reckon this will not be the last we'll see of this.  I'm sure we'll learn more about this in the coming weeks.  My concern here would be security.  And I'm curious just how Lowe's is implementing this.  Are they doing it alone, through a third party, or with Apple's help?

And if Apple is involved, this is a pretty sneaky way to get into enterprise even if it means starting from the ground up.  However, that has been how Apple's product has been getting into enterprise, from employees who want to use Apple products in their work.

And not just iPhones.  WiFi access for customers in the store.  Talk about freaking awesome or what!  And an app as well!

Of course, Lowe's is only playing catching to HD now.  HD has already implemented some of its own mobile and online initiatives a while back like using Motorola's handsets.  However, it is not known if they use Android devices.  And these Motorola handsets can make calls as well.

Source:  Bloomberg.

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