Guitar Center gets channels in tune with mobile app

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Guitar Center gets channels in tune with mobile app

By Dan Berthiaume - 04/24/2019
A specialty music retailer has extended its digital presence in stores.

Based in Westlake Village, California, Guitar Center operates more than 285 brick-and-mortar stores and offers a range of musical instruments and equipment. Already offering omnichannel services such as same-day, in-store pickup of many products and free shipping of online orders to stores, the retailer sought to more fully integrate the features of its e-commerce site into its stores.

Guitar Center decided to provide in-store customers with a mobile self-scanning app that would offer digital access to product information, inventory, and ordering. Not finding an existing retail app solution that met its needs, Guitar Center decided to custom build its own app.

Initially, the retailer attempted to develop the barcode scanning capability of the app with open source code, but during testing determined open source software could not frame long barcodes or support all code variations. Guitar Center then selected Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK as the app’s barcode scanning engine.

Customers now use the mobile app to scan barcodes and view videos, reviews and customer ratings, as well as recommendations for related products. Shoppers can also look for similar products and alternative colors, and check availability for items at other Guitar Center stores, with app-based ordering capability. Other features include a wish list and a product alert option that sends notifications of events such as an item coming into stock or going down in price.

Guitar Center continues to develop new features, such as integrating GC Pro, a provider of professional audio, video, lighting and sound installation services in the U.S., into the app.

“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.