crate-and-barrel (1)In a previous post, we mentioned how consumers are generally disinterested in brand apps, but those offering utility or gamification can beat the odds. One example of a successful app is Crate & Barrel’s, which helps consumers visualize their prospective furniture in their living rooms. Consumers can take a picture of their living space, erase the furniture they are seeking to replace, and add from a selection of more than 3,000 items. The 3D mock-ups can be shared, and the items can be bought in app.


Crate & Barrel’s “3D Room Designer” originally started as clunky desktop feature, and the requirement to upload a picture deterred many potential users. Converting to a tablet app has paid off as customers who use the feature spend three times other customers.


The Crate & Barrel app – featured in our Intelligence Report: Mobile & Tablet – replaced pen and paper sketches its sales associates made to help consumers’ visualize their space. Its success is a testament to when brands should think about making an app: when a feature is too cumbersome, impractical, or inefficient on a mobile or desktop site.

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