I was quite excited several months ago when arts and crafts retailer Michaels began accepting coupons via smartphone at their checkout. I was even more excited to find that they’ve recently released an app for the iPhone that combines their electronic coupon functionality with some exciting new features.
The app is well laid-out, easy to use, and filled with pleasing visuals such as the screen that greets users on opening.
Once loaded, the app gives customers access to a number of features, most notably the ability to browse sales flyers and search for products.
The “Deals” section of the app provides access to the Michaels weekly ad in a mobile-friendly format. Customers can navigate by category and then drill down to see more details about sale items.
The “Coupons” section will probably be the most-used in the app as it gives customers a way to carry coupons without the hassle of printing them and then remembering to bring them along to the store. Coupons are automatically loaded into the app when available and removed after they have expired. Each coupon can be used multiple times (subject to the current “one per customer per day” wording) and contains a barcode that is scanned at the checkout.
I found the “Projects” section to be surprisingly well-rounded, containing in-depth instructions for craft projects in a number of categories. The images, shown as a thumbnail on the instructions screen, will display a larger version when tapped.
The “Lists” feature provides a place for customers to compile one or more shopping lists to use in the store. It’s tied closely with the “Products” section that allows customers to browse available items (the products listed are not tied to a particular store’s inventory and may not reflect current stock) and add them to a shopping list. Users can also add items manually by typing in text.
The “Products” section, which I’ve already mentioned, allows users to browse available items by navigating through categories to find products. Customers can drill down to a specific product to read details, and there is also a space for reviews (though none of the items I browsed had reviews yet). No pricing information is provided for items.
Customers can also view upcoming classes and events at their local store under the “Events” button. The app also has functionality to locate stores nearest to you, just in case you catch the crafty bug while traveling.
The app also provides the ability to read QR (Quick Response) codes to allow customers quick access to information on the web. These codes are “scanned” by holding the iPhone’s camera over the code until it is registered by the app, which will then redirect the user to the appropriate web page.
Droid users, don’t despair!! Michaels corporate office has assured Scrapbook Update that an Android version of the app is planned, although there is no release date available yet. Scrapbook Update will keep you informed of this and any other developments as the areas of tech, crafting, and retail continue their exciting convergence.
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