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  • Lowe’s: Goodbye Scanner Gun. Hello iPhone

    [caption id="attachment_3126" align="alignleft" width="293" caption="Lowe's Now Using the iPhone versus Scanner Guns"]iPhone[/caption]

     

    Lowe's Home Improvement has gone Apple. The leading hardware and supply store has replaced their scanner guns with iPhones, making it easier for employees to interact and assist with customers. Chantal Tode of Mobile Commerce Daily discusses more. Thanks to Bob Antall of Consumer Centric Consulting for finding this story. Be sure to check out our Q&A story with Bob Antall here.

    Lowe’s is deploying approximately 42,000 iPhones in its stores to make it easier for employees to help shoppers and complete transactions.

    The home improvement retailer has already begun to implement the iPhones in its stores in the United States and Canada and expects to complete the rollout by the end of the fiscal year. By replacing scanner guns with iPhones, Lowe’s hopes to make it easier for store associates to answer customers’ questions and, eventually, complete purchases.

    “The iPhone’s will allow our employees to check inventory availability, access how-to videos and use Lowes.com in the aisles of our store,” said Lowe’s spokesperson Abby Buford. “We will continue to add functionality to the devices over time, but this will allow for a simple and seamless transition between customers and employees.

    “Our goal is to make home improvement simple for customers and our employees,” she said.

    Multi-functionality

    Lowe’s, Mooresville, NC, operates more than 1,725 home improvement stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

    Several retailers are arming store associates with mobile devices, including Lowe’s competitor Home Depot, which started giving employees handheld Motorola devices last year.

    Lowe’s strategy calls for the devices to eventually enable mobile calling, emailing, text messaging and the processing of credit and debit card transactions, according to reports.

    “In this instance, I’d guess that the primary motivation for the use of iPhones is the fact that it is a multi-function device and employees aren’t limited by using it only for settling transactions,” said Craig Foster, Irthlingborough, Britain-based senior analyst for ABI Research.

    By equipping sales associates with iPhones, Lowe’s could also be looking to integrate iPhone point-of-sale devices with its broader mobile marketing efforts.

    The retail chain has a mobile Web site and recently launched an app for iPhone and iPod that lets customers research and purchase products.

    Read more at Mobile Commerce Daily

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