Editor’s Note: Notes on the iPad
By now, you're probably sick of hearing about the iPad, right? Unless you're living under a rock, you know that Apple launched its iPad tablet computer on midnight, April 3. The smartphone/laptop computer combo was so popular, I'm sure you read, that Apple sold over 300,000 of them in the U.S. on that day alone. And as of press time, one report says more than 600,000 iPads have been sold. But what does the iPad mean for multichannel retailers?
For starters, check out the Prospecting page in our IndustryEye section, where Managing Editor Thorin McGee discusses a great iPad application in use by web-only merchant Gilt Groupe.
Entrepreneurs are also jumping on the iPad bandwagon in an effort to meet multichannel retailers' needs. To wit, I had a quick chat a few months ago with an entrepreneur who's in the research phase of developing a service that allows retailers to easily push their catalogs onto iPads. I thought the application was cool, so I asked members of the All About ROI LinkedIn Group what they thought. Here are some snippets of their responses:
"I think it's a great idea," wrote Loren McDonald, vice president of industry relations at Silverpop, on his response to the iPad. "For consumers, yes iPad catalog/retail apps should provide a better shopping experience — better personalization, ability to interact with images better than on the Internet, and better social interaction — e.g., ability to immediately engage with other people that have purchased the product in question, etc."
Others had concerns. "Good idea, but I think it depends on the ability to use the same tech to push catalogs onto other e-readers, too," wrote Brian Clark, customer experience manager at Sierra Trading Post.
Peter Milburn, owner of RE:DIRECT LLC and a marketing and advertising consultant, agreed with Clark that technology is key.