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Bon-Ton drives in-store gift card redemptions with mobile offer

Customers that redeem a gift card in-store on New Year’s Day will receive an extra 10 percent off their purchase. Consumers can access the coupon and saving offer on New Year’s via Bon-Tons mobile-optimized site or mobile application.

“Bon-Ton wanted to encourage customers to take advantage of the gift cards they received for Christmas and be able to use them during the big New Year’s Sale,” said Luis Fernandez, executive vice president and chief omni channel officer at The Bon-Ton Stores, York, PA.

“This is a way for us to create a special day and reward customers who have Bon-Ton gift cards,” he said. “Our hope is that this will resonate with our customers and become an annual event, like Cyber Monday or Black Friday.”

Bon-Ton Department Stores operates 273 department stores under the names of Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Herberger’s, Elder-Beerman and Younkers in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains.

New Year
According to Bon-Ton, this is the first time the company is offering a Gift Card New Year promotion.

Consumers can purchase gift cards in-store up till and including New Years, and they will be able to access the digital and mobile coupon on New Year’s Day itself.

To access the coupon via the mobile-optimized site, consumers can click on Today’s Ad on To access it via the app, consumers can click on “Get Coupons” on the homescreen.

The [email protected] app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The app lets consumers get mobile coupons, shop online and find a store.

To redeem coupons from the app, consumers can open the app and display the coupon’s barcode for a cashier to scan.

Most Bon-Ton stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on New Year’s.

Mobile Bon-Ton
While the mobile coupons are a great use of its app, Bon-Ton Stores could have also enabled mobile gift cards as opposed to requiring consumers to buy a physical card in-store.

Bon-Ton is not alone with RSR Research reporting that most retailers do not offer any mobile integration for gift cards (see story).

However, it is definitely an in-demand mobile feature for retailers looking into 2014.

Despite the fact that Bon-Ton may be slightly behind on mobile gift cards, it is definitely ahead of the game in other aspects of mobile.

For example, it recently launched an in-store NFC-enabled technology to let shoppers find out if the store has a specific shoe in the size and color they are looking for (see story).

Additionally, the fact that Bon-Ton enables mobile coupons is a positive step forward and could eventually lead to the department store rolling out mobile gift cards.

“The mobile app is the easiest way for our customers to access Bon-Ton promotional coupons, especially if they are not on our mailing list,” Mr. Fernandez said. “[In 2014] we will continue to evolve our mobile app.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York