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Crate & Barrel recap emails drive subsequent sales

PALM SPRINGS, CA – A Crate & Barrel executive at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2016 discussed the home décor brand’s mobile and digital solutions it uses to make it simpler for consumers to make a purchase decision.

During the session, “In-store PANEL: Bricks + Clicks: How To Bring In-store & Mobile Together Holistically,” the executive talked about how it leverages a program in stores in which associates assist shoppers with a tablet and keep track of their products of interest. The brand hopes in the future to incorporate augmented reality solutions that will allow users to see products in their own homes.

“So one of the things that we noticed is that customers tend to purchase or convert more when they can see a living picture of an item within their home,” said Rima Huq, ecommerce product manager at
Crate & Barrel. “So one of the things we are looking into is visual tools and virtual reality tools where a customer can hold their device aimed at their living room and see how the different items that they already have can go with the item they are considering.”

Innovation driving
While Crate & Barrel attempts to steer clear of offering discount incentives for those who abandon cart, but it does offer a series of solutions that help avert abandonment race. For instance, the retailer has equipped sales personnel in stores with tablets, who then shop with customers and keep track of the items they want.

If the customer is not ready to complete the purchase, a recap email will be sent to him or her that lists all of the items they were interested in at the store. The store associate gets credit for those purchases towards their commission, which keeps employees interested in using the program.

Crate & Barrel’s recap emails are a part of its tablet program that allows customers to shop without having to carry the heavy and delicate products. The store associate uses the tablet to keep track of their items to purchase later.

The executive discussed that in the future there is hope for augmented reality solutions so consumers can better see Crate & Barrel products in their homes. Users can take a picture of their room and select products to place within the room.

Essentially, users will be able to completely transform their space through the virtual design room. Customers will be more likely to spend more by being able to fully envision what their houses will look like with Crate & Barrel’s products.

Partnerships are another venue in which Crate & Barrel drives innovation. Moving application Dolly brought its haul of services to the Seattle metropolitan area following its recent partnership with the home furnishings retailer, suggesting that peer-to-peer apps can benefit from major brands’ support.

Dolly, which helps businesses and consumers move thanks to a variety of pre-screened “Helpers,” collected an $8 million Series A funding, prompting the app to offer its options to 3.5 million new customers in the Seattle region. Consumers seeking to purchase new furnishings for their homes may also use the app to shop retailers such as Crate and Barrel for discounted items, a tactic that could prompt other P2P applications to team up with national brands for added commerce features (see more).

“We have an associate iPad app that allows associates to create lists as they are browsing around the stores with customers, and an associate can send an email recap to the customer,” Ms. Huq said. “So that way if they are not ready to purchase in the store, they can go buy online whenever they feel ready to.”