The integration of hardware and software is important to a complete in-store iPad solution, but I give my unsung hero award to hardware. The obvious is the device. Less obvious is the hardware supporting the architecture. But the real hero is the iPad docking hardware.
Concepts come easy. Well built, refined, smoothly executed and stable concepts are far less common. Top that with concepts that attract and engage the shopper to increase sales, and you are now talking about a rare species. Regardless, we are talking about the app and its corresponding integration and supporting architecture. What about the system beyond the app?
For a complete system, you need the support of hardware, and of course, an ongoing management system. For this post, I am going to focus on the docking system (again) as the unsung hero.
Security: The iPad will have a safe home when not in the hands of a shopper or associate.
Power: The iPad will be charging when not in the line of duty.
Durability: The docking system will minimize time when damage can occur.
Longevity: The 30 pin connector (the devices Achilles heal) will be perfectly aligned every time the connection is made, extending the connection's life exponentially.
The list is much longer, but these are the top reasons a good docking system is imperative hardware. Without a system like Pad Loc, there will be numerous thefts, a lot of damage and unnecessary wear and tear on the device. Don’t cut your system short on non retail ready hardware. It will cost you a bundle.