MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

SharperImage.com print catalogs to have embedded mobile capability

BY Marianne Wilson

Beaverton, Ore. — Digimarc Corp. announced that SharperImage.com is using the Digimarc Discover platform to make it easy for consumers to simultaneously browse print catalogs, research and buy from their mobile device.

Using the free Catalog Click mobile app, enabled with Digimarc’s patented technology, consumers can scan product images to make a purchase, read reviews, see additional product information, images, videos and more. This interactive print-to-mobile experience reaches 4 million households and businesses across the world, directly advancing SharperImage.com’s m-commerce strategy.

"We know our catalogs drive customers to our e-commerce site, so we decided to make the shopping experience faster, easier and mobile-friendly," said David Katzman, managing partner of Camelot Venture Group, who holds the license for Shaperimage.com. "This interactive experience aligns well with our tech-savvy readership that is on the lookout for faster, more convenient ways to handle life’s tasks. It doesn’t get easier than scanning to learn more or proceed to checkout."

Each product image in the Holiday catalog, available in homes November 4th, includes an invisible and interactive digital watermark powered by the Digimarc Discover platform. Shoppers simply launch the free Catalog Click mobile app and scan the product image to be instantly connected to the mobile-optimized product site. Consumers can add the item to their cart, review customer ratings, see additional images of the product or save it to their "wish" list. The shopper can also share their find with others on Facebook, Twitter, Google + or Pinterest.

Digimarc Discover also provides engagement metrics, including which items are most popular in the print catalog, much like Sharper Image can determine from their e-commerce site SharperImage.com. The metrics also include how many times a product was scanned and how many unique devices scanned each product. Unlike tags or QR codes, imperceptible digital watermarks don’t require any real estate on the page and don’t mar the design of the catalog.


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FINANCE

Visa: E-commerce sales up 17% in first 10 months of 2013

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — In the first 10 months of 2013, e-commerce sales are up 17% from the same period last year, according to the Visa Spending Intentions survey. To-date in 2013, Visa domestic e-commerce transactions exceeded one billion dollars on 211 days, an increase of 19% from 2012.

In other findings:

  • Eighty-seven percent of people plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online, with 40% saying they will do half or more gift-buying online.
  • Seventy-two percent of people also plan to spend more or the same amount of money on gifts this year, compared to last. Almost 50% expect to spend between $301 and $800, while 14% plan to spend more than $800.
  • Twenty-five percent of respondents plan to use their mobile phone or tablet for holiday shopping this year, up from 22% last year.
  • Credit and debit cards will be the primary forms of payment through the holidays, with 56% of people planning to use their credit card and 30% to use a debit card.
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FINANCE

Report: Investor says Men’s Wearhouse still exploring options

BY Staff Writer

New York — The Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers saga continues with reports that Men’s Wearhouse will review a previously rejected merger with Jos. A. Bank Clothiers.

Eminence Capital LLC, Men’s Wearhouse largest single shareholder, said the retailer is still exploring its strategic options, including a possible merger with Jos. A. Bank, the Associated Press reported. The New York-based hedge fund has urged the retailer to quickly engage with Jos. A. Bank over the merger offer that Men’s Wearhouse turned down in October.

In a letter to Men’s Wearhouse CEO Doug Ewert, Eminence CEO Ricky Sandler wrote that he was encouraged to learn after speaking with him that Men’s Wearhouse is still reviewing its options.

"We also fully expect you and the board, given the explicit commitment to explore all options, to actively engage with Jos. A. Bank before their deadline of November 14, 2013," Sandler wrote.

It was the second letter Eminence made public. Earlier this month it wrote the retailer urging it to consider a sale of the business.

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