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Crate and Barrel builds on mcommerce strategy with bar code scanning app

The Wedding & Gift registry iPhone app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store. The app was developed by Branding Brand.

“This app provides a great example of how mobile can be used in-store,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh.

“Digitizing the traditional registry allows Crate & Barrel to offer their audience a seamless experience whether they’re on the showroom floor or laying in bed,” he said.

Crate and Barrel, a privately held company owned by the Otto Group of Hamburg, specializes in contemporary tabletop, kitchenwares, housewares and furniture designs.

The Crate and Barrel family of brands includes its more modern off-shoot, CB2, and childrens’ home furnishings retailer, The Land of Nod.

Scanning capabilities
Via the mobile app consumers can create and edit their own registry, as well as scan bar codes in-store to add items.

Users can also see purchases made from their registry in real time and search for products using voice command.

The app also lets consumers locate top registry items and browse quick picks.

Additionally, customers can find the nearest store location, view hours of operation and look at the map feature to find out how to get there.

An app such as this is a great way for retailers to get rid of registry scanner guns.

Consumers always have their mobile device on them, so by giving them an option to use their mobile device to scan items they want, it proves to be effective.

In addition, the Wedding & Gift apps drives in-store traffic because consumers will be more inclined to go to the nearest Crate and Barrel location to view the products in person and then scan the bar code to add it to their registry.

Mcommerce threat
Crate and Barrel is no stranger to mobile commerce and has been gradually ramping up its efforts in the space.

In 2010, the multichannel home furnishings retailer partnered with shopkick to deliver location-based shopping rewards to consumers for visiting stores (see story).

Last year, Crate and Barrel was among the many retailers that let consumers shop its spring collection via a re-imagined mobile catalog experience for iPad and Android tablets (see story).

In its latest initiative, the company offered consumers a chance to win a $500 gift card via a QR code featured on its fall catalog (see story).

“Making personalized information available across devices and environments increases loyalty and convenience,” Mr. Mason said.

“The concept of ‘anytime accessibility’ is a critical part of enabling commerce,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York