Retailers are following the old adage of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" when it comes to mobile technology. Instead of fighting it, they are arming their employees with tablets and smartphones, hoping to provide great customer service, according to a story on adage.com. They understand that customers are using their devices to comparison shop, so stores like Sears and Gap are on top of the trend.
"You can't put the genie back in the bottle," Michael Murray, Sears Holdings Corp.'s's chief marketing officer for e-commerce, said in the story. "Price is part of the decision-making process, but so is making sure you're able to serve that customer. If you've helped facilitate [a sales decision], people will often buy there, but some will not."
Utilizing an asset that e-retailers will never have -- people in stores -- Sears has deployed thousands of tablets to sales staff to help provide shoppers with information. Other retailers, including Lowe's, Gap, Nordstrom and Macy's, are investing in smartphones and tablets, both as tools for sales associates and as displays where customers can access information.
Outside of mobile tools for salespeople, many retailers are also providing customers with mobile apps to help them navigate stores, get product details or check inventory.
Last year, 39 percent of brick-and-mortar retailers with top-500 e-commerce sites by revenue had mobile websites and nearly 26 percent had apps, according to analysis from Acquity Group.
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