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Ace Hardware rakes in foot traffic through mobile advertising

The Ace Hardware ads are running in The Weather Channel’s mobile site. The ads encourage users to find a nearby store to stock up on fall items for their home projects.

“Mobile ads are all about collecting data, learning more about your consumers likes and dislikes in order to serve them better and ROI,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Ace Hardware. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Ace Hardware did not respond by press deadline.

Fall on mobile
Animation is being used in the mobile ads to read, “When the winds die down, the pickup season begins. Get your recovery started.” Another set of copy reads, “You can’t control the weather. You can control how well you weather it.”

The ads also include the Ace Hardware logo and encourage users to tap to find a nearby store.

When users tap on the banner ad, they are directed to Ace Hardware’s mobile site where they can enter their ZIP code to find the nearest store.

From there, consumers can view a list of all nearby stores with directions, contact information and a map.

Users can view ads for particular stores that are sorted by category. Each sale item shows consumers how much they save and how long the offer is good until.

Links at the bottom of the page promote the brand’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, which lets users stay in touch with the brand.

Users can find a nearby store

Mobile construction
Ace Hardware does not have a commerce-enabled mobile site.

Therefore, the goal behind everything that the company has done thus far in mobile is to drive in-store traffic and revenue.

Using location and seasonal marketing to sway users in-store has been beneficial for Ace Hardware with certain campaigns showing successful results.

For instance, another seasonal campaign that Ace Hardware ran with the Weather Channel generated a 61 percent purchase intent with users who saw the ad. The campaign also helped build brand awareness for Ace Hardware (see story).

Additionally, in 2010 Ace Hardware worked with Microsoft Mobile Advertising on a campaign to reach homeowners with four different offers. The campaign claimed to increase brand awareness by 60 percent (see story).

Using seasonal, time-specific ads alongside weather content gives a mobile ad stronger context, leading to better engagement.

Besides advertising, Ace Hardware also bolstered sign-ups for its Ace Rewards Visa Credit Card recently with a mobile app that let users apply for a branded credit card. The app is operated by U.S. Bank (see story).

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York