When you think of an iPad, you might think of settling on the couch, relaxing, and consuming digital media. However, iPads are integral in many large and small businesses spanning many sectors. In fact, some businesses just can’t do without them in this day and age. Let’s see how they are used.
iPads are used in businesses in many ways due to their almost limitless features provided by apps. These include POS systems, digital signage, registration, check-in, lead retention, lead generation, market research, interactive menus, improved workflow, and dynamic experiences.
This article will discuss and break down how businesses from all sectors, including retail, service, hospitality, travel, and more, use iPads as a core part of their business. We leave nothing out and dive deep into how iPads in businesses are here to stay and how effective they are.
How Are iPads Used In Business?
Due to the almost limitless number of apps available for an iPad, the way they can be utilized in a business is astonishing. From lead generation to improving workflow and reducing paper consumption, these are the reasons iPads are used in business today.
iPads As Point Of Sale (POS) Systems
The iPad has probably had the most impact in retail, acting as a Point of Sale (POS) system. In simple terms, a POS system is a device that will allow the staff of a business to accept payments from customers for services or goods that were provided.
In days gone by, this used to be a bulky cash register that evolved into desktop computers with monitors. Nowadays, if you walk into any boutique, a flea market, and pretty much any small business, you could be prompted simply with an iPad and a magnetic card reader.
Take Square, for example. This POS app that more than 2 million small businesses (from hairdressers to bakeries to retailers) use every day has the ability for your iPad to help you sell online, in-person, over the phone, or out and about. It also comes with a ton of business features like inventory reporting, customer information, sales history, and more.
iPads For Digital Signatures
If you have ever had something delivered, you will know that nowadays, all couriers will use a digital device to collect your signature (establishing that you have received your parcel). Even though some courier services will use other devices, some logistics companies will use an Ipad for this purpose.
With the help of DeliverPro (an iPad app for this exact purpose) and a stylus, businesses can allow their customers to sign for deliveries directly on the iPad, which will be time-stamped and have GPS coordinates captured.
Besides having the ability for customers to sign, businesses choose an iPad over other devices because the apps offer more features making them a multipurpose tool. For instance, DeliverPro also offers product catalog and customer invoice features allowing you to deal with returns, questions, and credits all from the iPad.
iPads For Customer Registration And Check-In
We discussed retail, but that is not the only business sector that can utilize iPads. Let’s look at travel and tourism. In a similar fashion to POS systems, iPads can be used for guest check-ins and customer registrations at hotels, conferences, international business meetings, and more.
Typically, it took a bit of time to book into a place you were traveling to, whether for business or pleasure. Now, in conjunction with online bookings and cross-device sharing, businesses use an iPad for a quick and hassle-free check-in.
Guest Manager Check-In is an iPad app that does a great job of this because it can search and check in guests by name or any other custom field. It can even add new guests, monitor arrival logs, edit and manage events and attendees, and more.
iPads For Customer Self-Service
It’s not uncommon to find iPads strewn across a retail floor to be used as digital assistants, allowing customers to sift through stock, check prices, pick out garments, accessories, and more in different sizes and colors.
They also offer additional information to customers being used as kiosks. For instance, international museums cater to tourists who speak various languages. iPads acting as kiosks can offer information in their home language pertaining to the exhibits in the museum.
iPads For Consumer Capture And Retention (Lead Generation)
In the same realm as kiosks but extending it much further, businesses use iPads to generate leads. By slapping on custom branding and using creative apps, videos and images, iPads can display content in a capturing way to potential customers.
Take, for example, iPad kiosks at expos and tradeshows. It takes nothing to put them on a stand and set them up around a stall, offering potential clients and customers a chance to engage, find out company information and leave their details.
There is an added benefit to this which is privacy and excitement. Many consumers sometimes prefer sifting through information at their own pace in an interactive way without being disturbed.
iPads For Market Research (Surveys & Data Analytics)
Diving deeper into lead acquisition, when potential customers engage in a kiosk (iPad) at a store, business, or event, the ability to set up surveys and data analytics is available. This means a business can get potential customers or clients to input any information relating to the business or themselves.
This information can be stored and used by a marketing team later to come up with new ideas to increase the company’s potential reach, sales, and revenue.
Take QuestionPro, for example, an iPad survey app that is used by the likes of Toyota, Samsung, Siemens, and Stanford University.
iPads For Creating Dynamic Experiences
Business proposals, pitches, and meetings are still a large part of internal business workings, and iPads have made these situations more approachable, easier, and exciting. Not only are staff able to create any proposal using many apps, but the option of cloud storage and sharing is available. This means there is no need to travel across town or State even to present a business plan, strategy, or model.
Moreover, the iPad features a USB-C port allowing it to interface with many other devices like projectors. Thus, if you do find yourself in a conference room or hall and need to give a presentation, syncing and using an iPad with a projector is easy.
If an iPad is not able to sync via the USB-C cable, apps such as Epson iProjection for the iPad allow you to wirelessly connect to a projector and mirror the device’s screen.
iPads For Business Travel
In cases where a computer or laptop is not available, business employees will use an iPad for work when traveling. Besides using it for proposals and meetings, peripherals like a keyboard and a mouse can be synced, and Microsoft Office Mobile Applications can be used to get work done.
In some instances, companies will provide their staff with iPads over desktop machines and laptops because of their flexibility, especially if employees are constantly out on the road dealing with clients.
Take into consideration that even remote desktop sharing apps are available like AnyDesk. This means staff can remote access and control another machine (laptop, desktop, or other Apple device) from anywhere.
iPads For Workflow
Another intricate role that an iPad can play in a business is that it can increase workflow and productivity. With the availability of cloud storage and sharing, along with multifunctional apps that contribute toward this, staff can get access to data much quicker, allowing them to get tasks done faster.
This can be anything from scheduling meetings to writing proposals to sharing business contacts, emailing clients, writing drafts, and everything in between.
For example, with apps like Trello, OneDrive, and the Microsoft Office suite, employees can check on projects, update tasks, share info, store data, and more.
iPads For Reducing Paper Usage
Businesses have jumped onto the “protect the environment” bandwagon and implemented iPads as a way to reduce paper. Taking into consideration that cloud storage and sharing can be synced to all devices (iPads and other Apple devices) in a business, there is no need to print everything out.
Gone are the days when hundreds of copies of a memo had to be printed out and handed to each individual staff member. Moreover, aspects in terms of customer tracking, lead generation, and sales, such as digital receipts, business cards, brochures, pamphlets, surveys, and more, can all be produced on an iPad, mailed to staff, clients, and customers, or sent to other iPads at brick-and-mortar stores to be used as kiosks.
All of this can be achieved by not using a single piece of paper.
iPads For Interactive Menus
We discussed how retail, tourism, and travel businesses had implemented iPads, but the food industry utilizes them in other ways, not only for POS systems. Enter interactive menus. Many restaurants and eateries provide iPads as an interactive way to search through available drinks and meals at their own pace.
Believe it or not, this is quite popular, with these menus even giving you the ability to place your order, which will be sent directly to the bar or kitchen. This improves efficiency and allows customers to order when they want without waiting, effectively increasing revenue.
We discovered that an iPad is not just a personal device used at home, but rather many businesses in all sectors use it for various tasks because of its features. From interactive menus to POS systems, to kiosks and more that span bakeries, retail outlets, museums, expos, and conference halls, iPads are now an interwoven necessity that modern businesses, big or small, just can’t do without.
I wrote this article mostly based on my own experience. However, I’m in the mobile gaming business and I write, design and develop games. I also own a couple of blogs and my iPad plays a big role in both my businesses. But if I just talked about how I use the iPad I would have missed some amazing opportunities for other people like using an iPad for an interactive menu or for customer self service.
While searching for more usage ideas I found this set of websites as being incredibly helpful and used them as part of my research process. Credit where credit is due.
- Best business iPad apps of 2022 – TechRadar
- How to Use an iPad for business – businessnewsdaily.com
- 9 Ways to Use iPads for Your Business – G2 Learning Hub
- The Advantages of iPads and Tablets in a Business
- The complete guide to using Apple iPads for business
- What is a POS System? – Erply
- Top 10 iPad POS Software – Instant Free List of Solutions
- Proof of Delivery App for iPad – DeliverPro – Ai2
- Guest Manager Check In 4+ – App Store
- CamCard | Professional Business Card Reader and Manager …
- Survey app for iPad – QuestionPro
- Epson iProjection on the App Store
- Remote Desktop Software for iOS – AnyDesk
- Trello: organize anything! on the App Store – Apple
- Microsoft OneDrive on the App Store