Gifts Today magazine

Crate & Barrel introduces tablets

Homeware retailer Crate & Barrel introduces tablets in-store to help enhance the customer experience and get customers into the store

Homeware retailer Crate & Barrel has started offering tablets for use in-store to help enhance the customer experience and give people reasons to visit the bricks and mortar Crate & Barrel stores instead of looking online. 

A partnership between Crate & Barrel and CloudTags, a customer identification service, has resulted in a pilot programme taking place in just one Crate & Barrel outlet in Skokie, Illinois.

With this programme, users get access to a Mobile Tote, a tablet that lets customers scan barcodes. Scanned barcodes can then give customers more information about an item, or let it be added to a wish list for later, something particularly useful for brides to be.

Those who hand over email addresses, meanwhile, get the added ability to have the created list sent to them for later study.

Mobile Tote units even come with the ability to pay from the tablet itself, meaning no checkout line. Though the concept is running on a rather limited basis, it’s already drawing some kudos from the wider retailing community.

It’s an excellent idea; incorporating some of the features of online shopping like the ability to get extra information quickly with the features that can only be had in a brick-and-mortar setting like hands-on product contact and immediacy of purchase really doesn’t end badly for anyone.

It’s also a great way to help make sure the huge investments in real estate made by stores continues to be worthwhile. Though it may be kind of a surprise to see brick-and-mortar outlets incorporating elements of that which is killing it, sometimes “if you can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em” is still a valid concept.

Watch this space.

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