Sharper Image Merges Catalog And Mobile With Catalog Click App

  • December 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST
  • By Alicia Esposito
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Over the past two years, Sharper Image has seen a notable increase in mobile sales. With 16% of total online holiday sales expected to come from mobile, the retailer has released its Catalog Click app, which merges mobile and catalog channels, to further boost results.

“We brainstormed the idea of taking catalog shopping to the next level,” said Sam Grossman, Director of Marketing for Sharper Image, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We really wanted to take advantage of the growing mobile market and learn how to incorporate it into the physical catalog experience. That’s where the idea was born.”

Using the app, which was developed using the Digimarc Discover platform, consumers can tap their smartphones to scan product images and access more detailed information, photos and videos. Consumers can then purchase a product directly through their mobile devices.

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The Digimarc Discover platform allows retailers to embed interactive watermarks into any media type — including print, audio and packaging. More than 300 watermarks are featured in the Sharper Image holiday catalog to help increase engagement, mobile sales and average order value.

The new mobile offering is promoted in the Sharper Image holiday catalog as a way to help consumers make the best decision, Grossman explained. However, the shoppable aspect is what will “take the app to the next level.”

Gross noted that Sharper Image has “seen mobile traffic to our site increase consistently. At the same time, our catalog is a huge marketing tool for us that drives a lot of traffic and produces a lot of revenue and sales. It was just about trying to tie the two together.”

Using Discounts To Encourage App Use

Sharper Image is promoting the catalog app in all marketing emails, as well as in the physical catalog, which is delivered to approximately five million households, Grossman noted. “These are people who already have access to the catalog, so we’re encouraging them to go to the app store and download it.”

Consumers who buy products through the Catalog Click app will receive 10% off their entire order. The promotion will be a key initiative for the retailer throughout the holiday season, helping mobile traffic reach record levels, Grossman said. In addition to the mobile app, he noted that Sharper Image recently unveiled a mobile-optimized site, “so we hope to increase the conversions on the mobile site and we are seeing that already.”

To quantify the success of the catalog initiative, Sharper Image will examine detailed metrics available through Digimarc Discover, such as how many times a product is scanned and how many unique devices scan a product. The retailer also will analyze app downloads and average order value to compare conversion rates for app users versus non-app users.

The holiday catalog is Sharper Image’s first full rollout of the catalog app, but the retailer plans to further leverage it in 2014. 

“We’ll learn a lot this holiday season, as there will be a lot of data to comb through,” Grossman said. “But our plan is to make this an integral part of our catalog drops moving forward.”

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