More than 100 billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store as of June 2015.
To put that in perspective, if you took a penny for every app downloaded and laid them out flat, you could cover 14 square miles.
Of those downloads, business applications boast 10.38 percent of the share of active apps, second only to the Games category. It is clear that the iPad has been a consumer adoption success, but what about enterprise tablet adoption? Is it the “killer platform” we forecasted it to be?
During this five-part series, we are reviewing our predictions from early 2010 on how the iPad would revolutionize marketing and business computing. Specifically, we are looking at five business application areas that we identified as being ripe for transformation in 2010: Customer Empowerment, Complex Sales, Talent Development and Training, Entertainment and Edutainment, and Value Chain Optimization.
Last week we highlighted multiple business cases of industry leaders using the tablet technology to create a compelling customer experience through visualization, self-guided experiences, and payment processing.
Mercedes-Benz developed iPad apps taking customers to ride around the demanding Laguna Seca Raceway in California in full HD. Nordstrom created smart fitting rooms equipped with tablet technology for self-guided experiences. Delta terminal in New York City’s LaGuardia airport placed iPads everywhere, enabling travelers to check e-mails, play games, order meals, or even pay their bills from anywhere in the terminal.
These business cases confirm the use of iPad for Customer Empowerment.
Now it’s time to review the use of iPads for complex sales and check out if our predictions were fact or fiction.
2. The role of iPads in Complex Sales
In 2010, we predicted that customized iPad solutions would improve customer engagement and sales conversion, especially in scenarios involving the evaluation of complex configurations and a combination of products. We suggested that the technology could enable a salesperson to conveniently access a wide range of information such as product configurations, financing, and available inventory.
We believed that the tablet technology would enhance high-involvement and complex selling processes in these four business categories:
• Luxury Products
• Real Estate
• Meetings and Events
Were our predictions Fact or Fiction?
FACT. The iPad can help businesses overcome many of their marketing and sales challenges. Empowered with tablet technology, salespeople can streamline the sales process by providing potential customers with interactive product or service information through a dynamic platform. It not only decreases conversion time but also allows for a more effective and engaging customer experience.
Some luxury products still lag behind other industries when it comes to making sales and marketing use of tablets. Many suggest this reflects the companies’ reluctance to break from tradition. Others believe luxury brands were obsessed with multimedia-rich sites built with Adobe Flash, which is not compatible on iOS sites. Despite this exception, many other industries have proven highly adoption of tablets for a better sales process.
Ducati, the Italian brand of high performance motorcycles, equipped its sales network with iPads and developed an app for easy access to all the necessary information to place and track orders. The tablet technology simplifies the ordering process for the salesperson and enriches the customer’s experience. Dealers are able to share detailed product information and images directly with clients, exchange motorcycles with other network dealers, and customize a motorcycle with features chosen by the customer.
“Thanks to the custom point-of-sales app we built in-house for iPad, our dealers feel like they are part of a community, and more integrated in the company.”
~Mario Alvisi, Sales Performance Development Manager, Ducati
The GoodLife Team, a real estate company located in Austin, utilizes multiple iPad apps for better sales results. Equipped with iPads, potential buyers can take notes, photos, videos, and even record audio for a complete property profile. They can also run a comparison between properties, get signatures, and email offers on the spot. GoodLife also uses apps for presentations, mobile videoconferences, and virtual tours.
“Real estate is a mobile industry and iPad enables us to do business wherever we are, at any time. It’s the best mobile device for real estate professionals.”
~Krisstina Wise, founder and CEO of the GoodLife Team
Medtronic, a leader in medical technology, considers the iPad as an innovative way to increase productivity, improve internal efficiency, and communicate with physicians. Instead of lugging around twenty-five pounds of product literature, sales reps use the tablet technology for easy access to the latest information and most up-to-date marketing materials. The iPad allows them to provide the right information at the right time, so physicians can make quick and informed decisions.
Hyatt boosted guest satisfaction by utilizing the iPad to streamline customer service, especially during peak travel times. Imagine a large convention center hotel with hundreds of guests checking out at the same time. The hotel staff uses iPads to quickly check guests in and out. The tablet technology not only enhances the guest experience, but also the sales team’s effectiveness. They can show high-resolution images and videos of property highlights to potential clients, rather than carrying bulky portfolios.
“Mobilizing hotel staff with iPad lets them get out from behind the desk and in front of the guests.”
~John Prusnick, Director of IT Innovation & Strategy, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
While a few luxury brands have not adopted the tablet technology from a sales and marketing perspective, most industries have been empowered by the ability to streamline sales processes, lower conversion time, and achieve higher customer satisfaction, confirming our predictions made in 2010 for the use of iPads in complex sales.
Since its release in 2010, the iPad has transformed Customer Empowerment and Complex Sales. The third installment in our series will review the use of iPads for Training and Development, specifically as a tool to get out of the traditional classroom setting, and deliver just-in-time, on-the-job learning experiences. Will we be three for three or will our predictions turn out to be fiction? Check back next week to find out.
We want to know:
How has your company used tablet technology to streamline complex sales processes?
Photo Credit: K?rlis Dambr?ns
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