In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
And consumers can view products without a wireless connection.
Wielding a 384-page catalog to pick out furnishings from Restoration Hardware Inc. may put off many consumers. But make that catalog available on an iPhone or iPad and the dynamic changes. At least that is what Restoration Hardware anticipates with the release of an iPad app that transforms its bulky catalog into a sleek mobile experience.
The app essentially is a mechanism to download the furnishing retailer’s current catalogs it calls Source Books. The consumer activates the app and can flip through the pages by swiping her finger across the screen. Because the entire catalog is downloaded to the iPad, a consumer can browse the catalog when not connected to the Internet, though a connection is needed to shop the catalog.
A tap on the image of an item brings up a description page with ordering information and an Add To Cart button. A tap of the Add To Cart button generates a confirmation pop-up box that also contains suggestions for other products and buttons to continue shopping or proceed to the shopping cart. The checkout process happens on the e-commerce site but within the app.
Within the app itself, shoppers can create bookmarks to specific pages of the catalog and use a scroll bar to move to different sections.
The app also automatically downloads the latest versions of the catalog in advance of the expected mail delivery date, Restoration Hardware says.
Restoration Hardware is No. 108 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.