Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Crate and Barrel to serve exclusive mobile coupons

Crate and Barrel is using the Yowza iPhone application to deliver exclusive deals to consumers.

The Crate and Barrel coupons, which are exclusive to the iPhone application, go live sometime this month, but the retailer currently has other offers, such as 15 percent savings on certain items, on the platform. According to Yowza, reaching a deal with Crate and Barrel was an important step in the company’s journey.

“This is one of the biggest things Yowza has seen so far besides Sears, Pier 1 Imports and the Container Store,” said Greg Grunberg, cofounder of Yowza, Hollywood, CA. “Crate and Barrel is an important brand for us because of the quality of their stores and the CB2 stores.

“Our business model has us trying to get the best retailers on board, like building a mall,” he said. “At Yowza we don’t aggregate coupons – we don’t go through the paper, magazines or coupon books and just pull up offers.

“These are offers made for consumers on our platform.”

Crate and Barrel is a home-furnishings retailer with a modern off-shoot chain store CB2.

Yowza is a location-based mobile coupon network for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch. The company was founded by Mr. Grunberg, an actor from such programs as “Heroes” and “Felicity,” August Trometer and Rick Yaeger. The three of them met on Twitter.

Mobile brings consumers in stores
With Yowza, consumers can search for nearby participating retailers via ZIP code or by using the iPhone’s built-in GPS to find stores within a 50 mile radius of their current location.

Once a consumer selects an offer, a mobile coupon code or scanable bar code can be redeemed at checkout.

The newest version of Yowza has integrated maps that show each retailer’s nearby store locations, as well as a Share your Savings feature that lets users pass savings information they found on Yowza to their friends using Twitter, Facebook or email.

Mr. Grunberg said that partnering with Yowza addresses several challenges for Crate and Barrel.

“Crate and Barrel can put an ad in the paper, they can do ads in traditional media, but they cannot track exactly how it is doing except by tracking redemption rates at registers,” Mr. Grunberg said. “With Yowza, merchants can login at and get a minute by minute analysis of where people are using it, how they’re using it and how many people use it.

“Merchants use Yowza for different reasons to try and solve different problems,” he said.

For example, Mr. Grunberg said that retailers can offer deals on certain products that are doing well in one part of the country to other parts of the country as a way to move inventory.

Mr. Grunberg said that the Yowza demographic is the same as the iPhone’s in the 18-49-year-old range, but it skews a little younger than Crate and Barrel’s core demographic.

Pier 1 Imports is a retailer on Yowza, and Mr. Grunberg said when it came on the platform that it reduced the average age of its consumer by 10 years and increased its average revenue to $10 per visit.

These results showed Pier 1 Imports that the tech-savvy, younger audience was spending more depending on the offers the retailer put up.

Mr. Grunberg said that the offers that do well on Yowza are generally a certain percentage or dollar amount off the entire purchase, rather than a deal on a specific product.

To promote the offerings Mr. Grunberg said that he will be doing some in-store appearances at Crate and Barrel and CB2 retail locations.

Mr. Grunberg said that he thinks mobile coupons will have a huge impact on holiday season shopping.

“For merchants, going mobile is the easiest way to get and control offers out there,” Mr. Grunberg said. “It’s an evolving kind of holiday.

“If shoppers are not in-store immediately, let’s drive them in with deals,” he said. “Merchants can change the deals immediately and put a time limit on offers – a ticking clock drives consumers into stores.”