The next time you’re looking for inventory information at Sears, you may find yourself face-to-face with an employee equipped with an iPad or iPod touch; Sears is sending 450 stores across the U.S. iOS devices to help with customer service.

The move, an attempt at “Leveraging wireless access and mobile technology,” according to senior VP Deidra Merriwether, is expected to help employees provide a more personalized shopping experience. It’s not just iOS devices that will be helping customers in the future. Sears is also rolling out free Wi-Fi at some of their stores so customer can readily access the Sears website, and check inventory on their own should they choose.

[quote]This rollout is being significantly supported by the company’s Information and Technology Group. “We are upgrading the entire network and technology infrastructures, including enhanced wireless coverage, to provide our customers with free Wi-Fi access,” said Keith Sherwell, senior vice president and chief information officer. “This will provide our associates with innovative tools and applications to support our customers at the highest levels of personal engagement while also offering customers a uniquely rich, integrated retail experience.”[/quote]

Putting modern tools in the hands of employees on the floor is only going to increase their efficiency and ability to carry out their job requirements. As a customer it’s nice to know that Sears is looking for ways to streamline their ordering process. Instead of being ushered around the store to various customer service stations to place an order, any employee can immediately order a product for you. That’s pretty huge, considering my spare time continues to shrink on a daily basis.

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