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Best Buy drives TV sales, in-store traffic via mobile ads

Big box retailer Best Buy is using location-based mobile ads to drive consumers in-store to check out Sharp’s line of televisions.

The mobile ads use location to find the nearest Best Buy location for users. The ads are running within Pandora’s iPhone application.

“Since smartphones are location-enabled, mobile ads displayed to consumers can convey information that is both tailored to the real-time where and when of the audience and alert consumers regarding the nearest location where they can convert an actual purchase,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.

Mr. Kerr is not affiliated with Best Buy. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Best Buy did not respond to press inquiries.

TV world
The mobile banner ads for Best Buy promote Sharp TVs as starting in price at $999.

The ads redirect users to a landing page where users can browse Sharp TVs by scrolling through the page.

Here is the ad that shows users where the nearest Best Buy location is

Below, the landing page shows the nearest Best Buy location. Each location features a click-to-call function and a map to help users contact Best Buy directly.

Based on the nearest location, users can see if a particular TV is available in-store. Consumers can also tap to buy the TV via Best Buy’s mobile site.

Users can either find a TV in-store or buy it via the ads

The ads also incorporate social media by letting users “like” Best Buy’s Facebook page, which helps the company ramp up its social media repertoire.

“Social media is the vehicle that allows a consumer who has just converted a purchase to share the news across their social graph,” Mr. Kerr said.

“If they know others might be interested in getting the same deal they got, they become an unofficial sales force for the product and spread the message at almost no cost to the retailer,” he said.

Mobile retail
There has been a lot of recent mobile news with big box retailers recently, showing how mobile plays an important role for retailers looking to drive in-store traffic and bolster online sales.

For example, Home Depot recently ran a commerce-enabled mobile ad campaign that let users find the nearest location (see story).

The purpose of Best Buy’s mobile ads are to showcase that Sharp TVs are on sale, giving shoppers an incentive to buy the TVs on-the-spot.

Additionally, by giving users an option to either find the nearest location or buy via a mobile site, the ads cater to both tech-savvy consumers and shoppers who might not be comfortable making a purchase via their mobile device.

“The convergence of mobile marketing and mobile commerce is a red-hot space right now,” Mr. Kerr said.

“Linking ads to real-time inventory control systems is very smart since it allows consumers to know that if they make the trip, the product is awaiting their arrival,” he said.

“Or, if they would rather have it shipped to them, the sale can be converted right then and there, when the consumer is most likely to act.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York