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Alex and Ani aims for mobile, in-store conversions via ad campaign

Alex and Ani is running a commerce-enabled mobile campaign that plugs both store locator features and mobile commerce.

The jewelry retailer’s campaign is running within the Pandora iPhone application. The ads promote Alex and Ani’s “Made in America with Love” message. A click-through on the ads leads consumers to the brand’s mobile site where they can shop the jewelry brand’s products.

“The first and primary reason for this type of ‘top of the funnel’ advertising is to use music affinity as a lead-in for introduction to the Alex and Ani brand in a way that allows for us to model the total cost of a new acquisition, which includes the post-experience steps required — mid-funnel display, search, paid social, organic social, etc. — for that potential customer to become an actual customer, and ultimately a repeat customer and brand evangelist,” said Ryan Bonifacino, vice president of digital strategy at Alex and Ani, New York.

“The secondary initiative behind the campaign happens to align with the valuable data and insights that we are able to associate with the behavioral metrics provided by the campaign, ultimately leading us to determine how the marriage of music and lifestyle provide high-performing options to scale our efforts in music and entertainment,” he said.

Shop on mobile
Alex and Ani is running both audio and expandable ads in Pandora.

The top of the page on the retailer’s mobile site features a rotating group of photos that show off Alex and Ani’s items and brand mission.

Below is a store locator feature where consumers can locate a nearby store. This feature also pulls in addresses and directions for each location.

A menu button in the top left-hand corner of the page lets consumers shop bangles, necklaces, earrings, rings and jewelry collections.

Consumers can then add an item to their shopping cart, read about the product details and watch videos on jewelry care.

Each product page also lets consumers “favorite” pieces of jewelry by clicking on a heart next to an item and can share items via Facebook, Twitter and Google +.

A button to receive Alex and Ani’s email newsletters is also promoted on the site.

Alex and Ani’s mobile site

In-store impact
Alex and Ani is smart to run a commerce-enabled ad right before Valentine’s Day when jewelry sales typically spike.

The ad’s focus on driving in-store traffic follows several different ways that the retailer has integrated mobile into the bricks-and-mortar experience in the past year.

The retailer was one of the first initial brands to test out mobile in-store offers through the Swirl app in May (see story).

Additionally, Alex and Ani increased 2012 holiday sales 318 percent after rolling out mobile point-of-sale technology (see story).

Since mobile’s impact for on-device sales is still relatively low, pushing consumers to a physical store is a tactic that many retailers including Alex and Ani continue to rely on.

“Mobile advertising is still relatively small in size compared with TV and desktop ads,” said Karen Pattani-Hason, new business and partnerships director at Aurnhammer, New York.

Ms. Pattani-Hason is not affiliated with Alex and Ani. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

“But retailers and advertisers need to keep in mind of its uprising because mobile is where consumers are,” she said. “With more consumers constantly checking their phones than their computers, mobile ads will become the method for getting retailers’ message front and center.”

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