February 10, 2011, 9:42 AM

Two retailers debut iPads in lieu of conventional kiosks

An iPad app guides customers to product and related information in familiar touchscreen fashion.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

City Sports uses iPad kiosks to present in-store shoppers with information ranging from product videos to news on local clubs and events.

City Sports and Things Remembered have unveiled a new system from mobile retail software provider Global Bay Mobile Technologies that turns off-the-shelf iPads into kiosks to enhance the in-store experience for shoppers.

The iPads are securely mounted to kiosk-like stands throughout the stores. The bottom button on the iPad, which takes users to the iPad home screen, is covered so shoppers can only use the app running on the screen, called iPad Kiosk. The app, linked to a retailer’s information systems via Wi-Fi, can be customized to present any information a retailer selects.

City Sports’ new concept store in Washington, D.C., is using the tablet computer to route customers to the City Sports web site as well as to information such as product videos, news, and content based on location such as information on running clubs and events.

“Global Bay’s Kiosk enhances the City Sports customer experience that also happens to be a solution our customers already know how to use,” says Dylan Bruntil, director of information technology at City Sports. “From day one, our customers can take advantage of this intuitive device and enjoy the benefits immediately.”

Things Remembered, which specializes in personalized gifts, is using the iPad Kiosk app in select stores to streamline a previously paper-based, in-store ordering process for ordering personalized products.

“This streamlines our order process and inspires our customers by prompting them with thousands of possible engraving messages,” says Amy Myers, vice president of creative services at Things Remembered. “This not only puts more personalization options at our customers’ fingertips, but also reduces their overall transaction time. Ultimately, it allows us to showcase what we do best—personalized, thoughtful gifts—using the technology today’s consumers enjoy and embrace.”

Global Bay Mobile Technologies reports that revenue in 2010 increased by 55% year over year and the number of clients tripled. Clients of Global Bay, a private company that declines to release further financial information, include Crocs Inc., Guess Inc., The Timberland Co. and True Religion Brand Jeans.

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