Tablet technology is the cool, new kid on the retail block, so it’s no surprise that JCPenney (JCP) is taking steps to leverage iPads in-store for an enhanced customer experience. There is no escaping the growing need for innovative ways to empower store associates. According to the 2011 Store Systems Study conducted by IHL Group, half of retailer respondents (50%) cited “providing store associates with better tools” as their number-one store system priority in 2011, which was previously the third most important priority in 2010.
JCPenney is focus on an overall “findmore” strategy, which encourages store associates and customers to “find more” by providing access to the expanded assortments and product information available on jcp.com. JCPenney currently is rolling out its findmore smart fixture to more than 120 select stores across the U.S. The retailer also will be utilizing the iPad device in 50 fine jewelry departments in conjunction with its Modern Bride concept.
“We’ve always seen the value of integrating the online and in-store shopping experience offering customers the opportunity to have access to a greater merchandise selection by offering access to online purchases in the stores,” said Tom Nealon, Group Executive Vice President of JCPenney, in a company press release.
“Offering an in-store digital experience that drives additional sales is a true differentiator for JCPenney, and continues to build on our leadership in the digital space as we merge our online and in-store shopping experiences.”
Bringing Digital In Store
The findmore smart fixture is more than just a kiosk linking store users to jcp.com’s 250,000 online products; the 42-inch touchscreen offers shoppers an interactive digital experience. Serving as an anchor for the merchandise department, the fixture allows users to view jcp.com’s assortment of merchandise and “find more” sizes, colors, styles and items not available — or out of stock — in the store; check the availability of merchandise in-store or in nearby stores; e-mail images and information about an online item to themselves or a friend; and use 360-degree views and zoom features to see the details of a product.
Users also can leverage the device to scan the barcode of an in-store item to learn more about the product’s features, additional colors and sizes available, and even washing instructions. Focused on cross-selling, the findmore fixture also will provide product recommendations for complementary items (for example, if a customer scans a pair of pants the findmore fixture will suggest tops and accessories to go with it).
The device brings an interactive approach to shopping, as users can view items and outfits and add them to an online “dressing room.” Shoppers can then print out a page listing the items, locate the items in the store and try them on. Users also can purchase online items from the findmore fixture and have them shipped to their home or for free to another JCPenney store. Additionally, customers can print out a receipt and purchase an online item at an in-store register, with their other in-store purchases.
JCP Tablet Rolling Out To Fine Jewelry Via The iPad
JCPenney also is extending its findmore strategy to the Fine Jewelry department with a smaller, hand-held concept using the iPad. Fine Jewelry associates will be able to use iPad to showcase JCPenney’s full offering of bridal fine jewelry collections for customers — highlighting a variety of styles, cuts, sizes and metal options — all available under the company’s new Modern Bride concept. Incorporating features from the Modern Bride experience on jcp.com, the iPad app will include a notebook feature that allows users to add rings to a virtual notebook, where they can compare ring features side by side.
JCPenney has been a leader in the digital space since 2006, when the retailer integrated its more than 40,000 point-of-sale terminals with its web site, jcp.com. In April 2009, JCPenney launched findmore fixtures in the Home departments of select stores. The findmore fixture has now been implemented in more 120 stores throughout four departments: Home, Women’s, Men’s and Footwear, with Children’s to follow.