It has become quite apparent that iPads have revolutionized the consumer computing experience. Although tablet PC’s were once a luxury item, this is no longer the case as a large percentage of the population now owns one. From elementary schools to senior citizen communities, they’re everywhere! However, a newer trend emerging is the use of iPads in businesses around the world. We have seen numerous uses to date, such as iPads being used as table menus at restaurants, as point-of-sale devices to replace traditional cash registers, and as web browsing terminals at coffee shops.
Recently, apps have been developed to allow business owners to convert their iPads into digital marketing devices. An example is the OnSpot Social app which enables consumers to Like a business’s Facebook Page, Follow the business on Twitter, and subscribe to their email list. By displaying an iPad with the app in a high traffic area such as a checkout counter or trade show table, businesses are able to instantly connect with consumers. A digital sign feature also allows a business to promote new products and specials, eliminating the need to design and print our flyers and posters.
Survey apps such as Polldaddy are also gaining in popularity. Utilizing one of these provides a means to collect valuable data and feedback that can be used to improve your business. Most of these apps are simple to set up and require no ongoing maintenance. By collecting data on consumers’ preferences beyond basic contact information, a business is really able to tailor its email and social media marketing campaigns to target different groups.
In general, iPad apps are usually less expensive than traditional computer software. Besides the initial investment in an iPad, a business can purchase an app for a few dollars and be up and running in no time. The flexibility of the iPad as well as the low cost of apps makes the concept of using an iPad at a business feasible for most. What are your thoughts on businesses using the iPad as a customer engagement tool? Is it an emerging trend that will be here to stay or a passing fad?