“This collaboration with Tesco shows how mobile technology can be used to create a smarter,
more convenient experience for consumers and
retailers,” said Sima Nadler, retail research lead at
IBM Research. “It also demonstrates today’s most
compelling advances in mobile technology result
from how the devices are used, rather than the devices themselves. By using mobile to maximize inventory and sales, enterprises can stay ahead of
Asda: iPad Mobility
Walmart-owned Asda has teamed up with the mo-
Hughes Europe: Wi-Fi
bile network operator and Internet service pro-
vider company, EE, to introduce Asda-branded in-
store Wi-Fi that has already attracted more than
100,000 customers and 800,000 subscribers. While
the managed service uses mobile connectivity to
provide store specific offers and promotional con-
tent to consumers, store
staff are benefiting too.
Seven hundred iPads al-
low store managers and
regional managers to han-
dle administrative work
quickly and easily any-
where on the store floor.
Internal Asda apps such
as HR utilities and store
planning tools are deliv-
ered over Wi-Fi direct to
the manager iPads.
According to EE, man-
agers can spend an ad-
ditional seven hours on
the store floor each week
coaching and motivating
colleagues and looking after customers — rath-
er than sitting at desks filling out forms. Small
things like spot-checking stock levels and making
sure people are available to serve customers are
an additional benefit.
Satellite broadband provider, Hughes Europe, has
launched a secure, managed Wi-Fi service for re-
tailers. The social analytics feature enables cus-
tomers to access the Internet via their social me-
dia accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Goo-
gle+) and allows a retailer to maintain a relation-
ship with customers after they’ve left the store.
Triggered e-vouchers can be sent automatically to
reward loyal returning customers or to entice the
infrequent shopper. In addition, advertising links
can be quickly established to launch new products
or increase popularity.
As well as supporting a retailer’s marketing ef-
forts, the service enables store staff to be mobile
and use tablets for stock control. “For employees,
in-store Wi-Fi gives them shop-floor access to the
latest product descriptions and pricing,” said Chris
O’Dell, vice president of sales and marketing, add-
ing, “Online training and the availability of smart
devices also ensures they have all the product infor-
mation immediately on hand that they need to en-
hance the customer experience.”
The ability to track and monitor shoppers is an-
other win and allows the retailer to focus on getting
the right products in the right place to the right cus-
tomer, continued O’Dell. “Business intelligence re-
duces costs through better stock management and
increases sales through a stronger focus on meeting
the customer’s needs.”
Retailers are proving the latest technolo-
gy solutions can benefit and assist store-based
teams, enabling them to better serve their cus-
tomers as a result.
Fiona Briggs is a retail business journalist. She can
be reached at email@example.com.
The app helps Tesco improve store
operations beyond a manual process.
ahead of the
— Sima Nadler, retail
research lead, IBM
Smart devices ensure that employees have product information
immediately on hand so that they can enhance the customer experience.