Mobile Devices: How the iPad 2 Will Change Customer Engagement
The question remains, however, why would a customer already in the store go through these virtual manipulations when she can just try on the clothes for fit and fashion herself? A better approach might be to devise the means to offer the same functionality at home. A shopper could use the iPad 2 to take a photo of herself, then dress herself online via the brand's website — a true virtual dressing room.
Conceivably, the dual camera iPad 2 could also be used by consumers for collective decision making. A shopper at a car dealership, for example, may be intrigued by a vehicle's telematics or automated tailgate closure. iPad 2 could provide that shopper with the opportunity to connect via video chat (assuming the dealership had Wi-Fi) with a trusted advisor to demonstrate the car's features live. Simultaneously, the sales associate could answer questions from both parties in real time, engaging with both on the lot and online.
Last year I mentioned, and data still supports the fact, that consumers tend to download apps to their smartphones but rarely use them. The potential for apps to be successful is much higher on the iPad 2. Again, the larger form factor and multitouch capabilities of the iPad 2 increase the likelihood that a consumer will choose to open an app as opposed to a browser to access a shopping site while couch surfing. It's just more fun!
Along the same lines, another promising application of iPad 2 is its ability to help bring the QR code into ubiquity. While gaining popularity on the mobile side, QR codes will be more accessible to people sitting at home paging through a magazine or watching a show if their iPad 2 is sitting next to them on the couch. Imagine seeing a commercial for a patio set, scanning the QR code with your iPad 2 from the couch and being directed to a fully merchandised page of the patio set, a grill and gardening accessories, all with a promotion for entering via the QR code.