Retailers and designers need to think of the application and the technology to be incorporated across channels in terms of how it can fundamentally change the retail dynamic. The application needs to be more than an interesting novelty, it needs to address the unspoken, contextual realities of the people selling products. The application strategy needs to be indispensable to store associates. That means thinking about how the tools will be used on the sales floor – will it detract from the interpersonal interaction or add to them; will it make the job of the sales associate more difficult physically as they go about their day with a device in hand; will it be an improvement or a hindrance?
The application, the device, the media may be interesting or novel, but will they help customer/shopper interactions? So understanding the culture of shopping and the larger context is the first step in developing a useful set of tools and a real strategy (as opposed to a set of tactics disguised as a strategy).