Significant growth expected in tablet deployments for retail and hospitality

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

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The retail and hospitality markets in Europe are expected to ramp up their tablet deployments by 2018, according to the latest research by IDC and Panasonic Business.

According to the report, titled ‘Rethinking Retail: The Tablet Revolution’, more than half of research respondents were already using some tablets. Regarding retail and wholesale organisations, adoption is expected to hit 10% of all computing devices by the end of 2015, with that number expected to grow to 15% by 2018.

The primary reason for increased tablet deployment, according to the research, is improving employee productivity, according to 72% of retailers and 77% of hospitality companies. More than half (51% retail, 53% hospitality) said they also expected improved customer-facing engagement, while a similar number (41% retail, 38% hospitality) said they will use tablets to fulfil a business need which is beyond the reach of traditional computing devices.

Picking a specific tablet, however, involved a variety of metrics. For more than 70% across all sectors, battery life is central to the choice of slate. Outdoor readability, security features, and voice capabilities were also highly cited.

“The research shows that the retail and hospitality industries recognise the value that tablets and hybrid devices can bring to their organisations in the areas of increased productivity and customer service,” said Luca Legnani, Panasonic European marketing manager. “They are also ideal to address a number of functions previously performed by a variety of devices.”

This publication has examined enterprise tablet deployment of late. Back in October, Strategy Analytics argued that tablets will continue to replace laptops, with tablet shipments going up 2% from the previous quarter. With the recently released Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro 4, the capabilities of tablets have never been greater, although not everyone is convinced of its worth as an enterprise-grade platform.

Legnani argues due diligence is vital for companies. “To achieve these benefits buyers must select devices that are equipped to address the core demands of both their business and the rigours of their industry,” he explained. “Form factor, reliability, and support services are crucial, as are functional aspects such as ruggedisation, replaceable batteries, and the ability to integrate barcode readers and other existing functions onto tablet platforms.”

 

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