Scandit barcode scanning integrated in the Guitar Center mobile shopping app enables in-store customers to easily access the most popular features from the online store right from their smartphones.
Guitar Center is home to the world’s greatest selection of guitars, basses, amplifiers, keyboards, workstations, drums, percussion, microphones, PA systems, DJ equipment, stage lighting, recording software, studio gear and more. Backed by over 285 stores across the U.S., guitarcenter.com offers the fastest, easiest way to find all the musical equipment and accessories customers need in one place. Many popular instruments are available for same-day pickup at a nearby store and Guitar Center offers free shipping on thousands of items to the physical store location of your choice.
Add value to the customer omnichannel experience
As part of their omnichannel retail strategy, Guitar Center wanted to provide in-store, real-time product information to customers through a mobile app. Guitar Center already had a content-rich, e-commerce-driven website and wanted to make it possible for in-store customers to easily leverage the popular features of their digital presence.
Put reviews, videos and ratings in customers’ hands
The self-scanning app would help customers learn more about products and make better-informed buying decisions. “We wanted to make it easy for customers to make the most informed decision possible in the store and at the same time set up a longer-term sales cycle when an in-store purchase is not made,” said Josh Feldman, Guitar Center’s Senior Product Manager for Mobile.
Developing a great app for customers
Since no solution existed to support their goals, Guitar Center decided to build a custom application that incorporated barcode scanning and worked seamlessly with other features they planned to offer customers.
They attempted to use open source code to address the barcode reading part of the application. During development, it became clear that the open source software could not read barcodes well enough to meet
the demands of the application.
“Many of our products have very long barcodes,” explains Feldman, “and the open source options couldn’t frame entire barcodes. The Scandit solution easily scans every code and supports lots of code variations.”
The app was tested rigorously with dozens of different devices to scan hundreds of different barcodes in actual store scenarios. After testing, Guitar Center introduced the application to their customers and the response was extremely positive.
Satisfied customers, unexpected bonus for employees and new features being added
Customers now use the mobile app to scan barcodes and view videos, reviews and customer ratings plus recommendations for related products.
They can also look for similar products, alternative colors and check availability at other Guitar Center stores – and then order through the app. There’s a wish list feature and a product alert option to be notified when an item comes in stock or perhaps reduces in price. So it’s a great online shopping experience – from the aisle.
Although the mobile app is not designed for use by store employees their feedback has been great. “The power went out in a store at one point and and our associates were able to scan products and retrieve the information they needed,” recounts Feldman.
For Guitar Center, the application has been a complete success and they continue to develop it with new features. For example, they have integrated GC Pro, the largest provider of professional audio, video,
lighting and sound installation services in the US, into the app.