Why Sharper Image Embedded a ‘Buy Now’ Mobile Capability Into its Catalog
In an effort to make it simpler for consumers to simultaneously browse its print catalog and research and buy from their mobile devices, Sharper Image embedded a “Buy Now” capability into its holiday preview catalog. The catalog is chock-full of electronic, recreation, fitness and travel products, and was sent to 4 million households and businesses on Nov. 4.
The “Buy Now” capability centers around an invisible digital watermark embedded in the catalog that's powered by the Digimarc Discover platform. This platform enables mobile devices to "see and hear" media content using built-in cameras and microphones.
Here's how the technology works: Shoppers launch Sharper Image’s Catalog Click mobile app and use the camera on their iPhone or iPad to scan a product image they’re interested in. (All of the images in the catalog are watermarked). Once they do this, they're instantly connected to a mobile-optimized product site. Consumers can then add the item to their cart, review customer ratings, see additional images of the product or save it to their “wish” list. Shoppers can also share their find with others on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.
This print-to-mobile experience is directly advancing Sharper Image's m-commerce strategy, a market projected to reach $31 billion by 2016.
“We wanted to launch an app that would take catalog shopping to the next level," says Sam Grossman, director of marketing at The Sharper Image. “This app makes the shopping experience faster, easier and mobile friendly.”
What’s more, Grossman says that Sharper Image wants to be at the forefront of the mobile trend, especially since more and more of its customers are using mobile devices such as tablets and phones to buy merchandise. Sharper Image isn't the only retailer with more mobile shoppers: eMarketer predicts m-commerce sales on tablets will account for 9.4 percent of all retail e-commerce sales in 2013 and 16.9 percent of the total by 2016.