As tablets become more common among consumers, new research shows they're becoming just as popular with retailers.
While only 6 percent of the surveyed businesses report that tablets are fully deployed in their stores today – being used as mobile cash registers and other ways to increase efficiency -- another 28 percent are currently testing tablets in stores, with an additional 31 percent planning to start tests sometime in 2012.
"Our research reveals that tablet adoption is no longer a question for retailers," said Joe Skorupa, editor-in-chief at RIS News. "They know they are going to deploy tablets in the near-term, it’s just a matter of what types of tablets and how they'll integrate them into the store experience."
Retailers are divided on that issue, according to the study. Fifty-nine percent say they want to use rugged tablets that can survive a drop test, and 57 percent said they want to use consumer tablets that are inexpensive and user-friendly.
Major factors driving increased tablet use among retailers include sales floor support, updating the store experience, increasing comp-store sales and connecting to enterprise apps, the research showed.
The report, titled "Retail Embraces Tablets," was based on surveys of more than 50 retailers.
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.