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Oriental Trading Co. drives Halloween sales via iPad app

Just in time for Halloween, Oriental Trading Co. has launched an iPad app offering a touch shopping experience for party supplies and costumes.

With the percentage of Oriental Trading Co.’s online sales coming from mobile having nearly tripled in the past year, the merchant focused on creating an interactive iPad experience that would enable users to pinch, swipe and tap to browse all 40,000 products offered by Oriental Trading Co. Shoppers can also add selected items to the shopping cart and place an order via the app.

“With so many consumers, especially busy moms, using mobile devices such as iPads for their shopping convenience, we wanted to be the first in the party supplies industry to give them what they need – an engaging, interactive iPad experience that combines the best features of our website and our catalogs, while adding additional new features which are unique to our iPad app,” said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Co., Omaha, NE.

“Oriental Trading’s goal is to help our customers save time and money when buying party supplies, arts and crafts, and school supplies,” he said.   

“This new app provides on-the-go customers access to all 40,000 Oriental Trading products, all at guaranteed lowest prices.”

iPad’s appeal broadens
The Halloween version of the app Halloween was designed to provide consumers with fun and creative Halloween solutions for decorating their homes inside and out, throwing parties, putting together costumes, craft projects, and candy ideas.  

That Oriental Trading Co. has come out with an iPad app points to the broad influence these devices are having on shoppers and that iPad experiences are not just for upscale brands.

“Initially, lush and beautiful iPad shopping apps were typically the domain of super-premium brands like Zegna and Hugo Boss and Armani,” said Mar Hershenson, CEO of Revel Touch, Los Altos, CA. “However, with the near ubiquity of tablets, consumers increasingly shopping via the mobile/tablet channels, and the compelling nature of ‘touch shopping’ – brands from every segment of the retail world have realized they can’t miss out on the tablet phenomenon.”

Oriental Trading partnered with mobile commerce technology provider Revel Touch to launch the app, which uses Revel Touch’s scalable merchandising suite to easily deploy existing brand assets, photography and social content.

The first thing users see when they launch Oriental Trading Co.’s new iPad app is a one-page tutorial explaining how to navigate throughout the app.  The app enables users to quickly scroll through different product categories with the swipe of their finger.

Exclusive features
The app features numerous videos photos and other media to give shoppers an interactive shopping experience.

Features include a Decorate Your Own Haunted House section where users can select and place items on the front porch and yard of a home to create the perfect look. An in-app light switch enables users to see how the house will look at night.

There is also an interactive runway of Halloween costumes for kids and adults with zoom feature so shoppers can see details up close.

Using the digital tabletop, shoppers can choose plates, cups, napkins, utensils and other items to design a party table setting. Users can easily swap out colors, themes or individual items.

Other features include interactive jack-o-lanterns and embedded videos with decorating tips.

Some of the features are exclusive to the new app and are not available on the retailer’s tablet-optimized site, such as the Decorate Your Own Haunted House feature, the digital tabletop design tool, and the interactive runway of Halloween costumes for kids and adults.  

 The free app is available to download from the Apple App Store.

Oriental Trading Co. is the largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, according to the company.

“This revolutionary app takes the best of our Web site and the best of our catalogs and creates a seamless, innovative interactive experience that is unique to our other selling channels,” Oriental Trading’s Mr. Taylor said. “The app also contains many more examples and photos of complete Halloween solutions for decorating and parties than we have on the Web site.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York