City Furniture deploys IBM-powered iOS enterprise apps to enrich customer engagement


US-based retailer City Furniture has partnered with technology company IBM to launch three MobileFirst for iOS apps for iPad Pro to enhance customer relationship and engagement.

The Sales Assist, Payment, and Finance apps will enable in-store shoppers to get the products they want faster.

City Furniture will equip the apps to 400 store associates across 15 City Furniture showrooms and 12 Ashley Furniture HomeStore showrooms in south Florida.

Through these solutions, associates will have access to insights that will help deliver a more efficient, personalised shopping experience for customers.

"Equipped with the right information, a store associate can ensure a smooth, continuous path to purchase without leaving a customer's side."

The company has taken the decision to switch to IBM technology to offset lost sales opportunities and time-consuming manual in-store services while helping customers find their desired products.

Store associates will now have real-time access to information regarding more than 8,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) complete with images, product information, colors, styles, and unique customer profiles at their fingertips.

The company has reported that this measure will result in reducing the time required to close a sale.

City Furniture president Keith Koenig said: "By developing these customised apps in collaboration with IBM and Apple, employees have the right tools to personalise recommendations, make payments, and schedule delivery all from the showroom floor.

“Equipped with the right information, a store associate can ensure a smooth, continuous path to purchase without leaving a customer's side and they often come into our stores asking for the store associate by name."

In order to link these new applications with the company's existing applications and data, City Furniture is using IBM's Bluemix cloud platform.

IBM's consumer industry global managing director and general manager Laurence Haziot said: "Today's savvy consumer is doing product research before even stepping foot inside a store, driving retailers to bring the same excitement, engagement, and interactive technologies into their stores.”