Pacific Sunwear Rolls Out iPad App To Optimize Customer Experience And Upselling

Tapping into the growing popularity of tablet technology, Pacific Sunwear (PacSun) recently deployed an Apple iPad-based Retailing solution to 300 stores nationwide.

Since its 1980 inception as a small surf shop in Newport Beach, CA, PacSun now operates more than 800 stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The specialty retailer rooted in the action sports, fashion and music influences of the California lifestyle, is currently headquartered in Anaheim, CA.

Leveraging the iPad Retailing App from Global Bay Mobile Technologies, PacSun is among the first to integrate the iPad into the retail environment to enhance the in-store customer experience, capture potential lost sales and create upsell opportunities. PacSun will deploy to an additional 100 stores during 2011.


Committed to innovating not only at the product-level, but also by utilizing emerging retail technology, PacSun will leverage the platform to deploy mobile apps that store associates and customers need for experience optimization, according to Bill Bieluch, Senior Director, IT Project Delivery at PacSun. Bieluch told Retail TouchPoints that the company is taking a more progressive approach to technology in-store.

“This [implementation] is not a direct request from our associates or customers; this is a proactive step in response to the fast penetration of mobile technology in the retail industry, and an effort to enhance the interaction and experience with our customers and associates,” Bieluch said.

And while the potential of tablet technology has the retail industry buzzing, Bieluch assured Retail TouchPoints that the deployment was not just about putting a “cool” device out on the floor to improve image. “This deployment is tied to specific business metrics with clearly defined goals and return,” he said, adding that since the implementation of the iPad, PacSun has seen a sales lift. “More importantly, we have been able to capture sales that otherwise would have been lost opportunities.”

Moreover, PacSun is using the same iPads for associate training (videos, manuals and other content), access to its store portal and other store management functions, according to Bieluch. Focused on increasing efficiencies, the iPad app replaces a lot of printing and mailing, and allows the company to streamlining the sending of important information to store-based associates, he added. 

The Global Bay iPad Retailing App is designed to enhance the interaction between store associates and consumers while improving the overall in-store selling experience. Store associates are empowered to work with customers as they are moving throughout the store.

Some of the key features of the Global Bay iPad Retail solution deployed by PacSun include:

  • Personalized Selling to Increase Sales: PacSun store associates leverage the iPad as a personalized tool for one-on-one assisted customer selling. Through the iPad Retail App’s Look Book functionality and rich-media content, PacSun store associates are able to walk customers through different outfit combinations and suggest products based on the customer’s purchasing preferences.
  • Assisted Selling to Eliminate Lost Sales: To eliminate missed sales due to out-of-stock items in the store, PacSun store associates use the iPad to place orders for customers via e-Commerce on the spot. In addition, providing sales associates with product information and inventory through the iPad ensures that items are never out-of-stock and orders can be fulfilled across any channel.
  • QR Code Integration to Support Promotions: PacSun has integrated QR codes into the app to deliver exclusive content directly to the smartphones of consumers who scan QR codes on the screen of the iPad.

“The QR codes are helping to create and maintain brand awareness, keep the connection with our customer base, keeping our customers updated with PacSun news, events and promos,” Bieluch noted. “The QR codes help expand our presence in the mobile world and will keep PacSun accessible and available to all our customers.”

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