Innovation at SBEC: Meet Click & Carry

SBEC cohort company Click & Carry is on a roll. If you haven’t seen one yet, Click & Carry provides shoppers a simple, handle device to comfortably carry multiple bags at once. Imagine yourself picking up and carrying all those plastic grocery bags upstairs with ease.

Click & Carry, which can be used in your hand or worn over your shoulder to carry up to 50 pounds, features a conforming gel grip with a rotating top to easily load & unload cargo. The company’s target markets include mothers, urban dwellers, seniors with dexterity issues and construction workers. Click & Carry was awarded two utility patents.

We recently caught up with Click & Carry Founder & CEO Kimberly Meckwood to ask her a few questions about innovation.

What was your original inspiration for innovating your first Click & Carry product?

A simple change in daily routine can have an enormous effect on everything else in life. Even something as small as how we bring our shopping bags from the car into the house can set us on a path no one could have predicted. Ten years ago, I was living in an upstairs apartment in Brentwood, California. Bringing groceries to my apartment required carrying groceries up several long flights of stairs and through multiple doors just to get to the front door. After finishing shopping, I would call my boyfriend from the car to come downstairs to help me bring up the groceries. Then life happened; we parted ways, and I found myself struggling to carry the shopping bags herself.

I knew I needed to come up with something that made shopping easier. Like the beginnings of so many inventions, I identified a common problem that many people dealt with and the stirrings of a solution began to take hold in my subconscious.

What do you consider the most innovative product you’ve created?

Click & Carry is a simple, handle device that allows shoppers to manage and carry multiple bags at once ~ comfortably. It may be carried in your hand or worn over your shoulder. When worn over the shoulder, the device uses the weight of the bags to counterbalance for a “hands-free” carry.

Some products are radical innovations, and some are incremental. What are some incremental changes you’ve done that you think were important to your business?

There are three incremental changes that I made to Click & Carry. The first change was adding a over-hanging lip to the locking mechanism at either end of the Click & Carry. The benefit is that when heavy weight is placed on the bottom portion, the over-hanging lip keeps the top and bottom portions joined together, as opposed to separating due to the heavy weight. Then, I added dividers on either end of the handle to help the end user evenly distribute the weight. Finally, I added an “extra-comfy” gel padding for a more pleasant customer experience.

Sometimes innovation is invisible because it’s on the manufacturing side – what’s an innovative thing you’ve done that we’ll never know about?

I recently created a new mold that creates a small, thumb-sized indention on each side that reduces the amount of plastic used to make each Click & Carry. The modification doesn’t weaken the product, but it does reduce manufacturing costs since we use less material. It also reduces the weight of Click & Carry, which saves on shipping costs.

What company(ies) do you consider to be innovative today?

I am impressed by Apple and OXO. Both produce innovative products that are also aesthetically pleasing!