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Burlington Coat Factory kickstarts back-to-school shopping through location-based advertising

Burlington Coat Factory is gearing up for back-to-school season with a targeted mobile advertising campaign that helps consumers find the nearest store.

In addition to location, the campaign is also using rich media, floating banner ads and static banners. Burlington Coat Factory is working with Kargo and Resolute Digital on this initiative.

“The main key performance indicators of this campaign were to drive in-store traffic, which in turn drives sales, but without a mobile commerce-enabled site, it is almost impossible to do so effectively, without compromising user experience from start to finish,” said Melissa Simson, account manager at Kargo, New York.

“Just because a brand doesn’t have a mobile-optimized site doesn’t mean they cannot take part in mobile advertising,” she said.

Location is key
Without a commerce-enabled site, Burlington Coat Factory decided to use location to drive consumers to stores.

The campaign is running from mid-August to mid-September on mobile sites such as J-14, Twist, Radar, Parents, Family Circle and Better Homes & Gardens.

Depending on the site, consumers can either find nearby stores or browse back-to-school clothes.

For example, consumers who click on the floating 3D banners are directed to their device’s built-in map application where Burlington Coat Factory stores are marked.

Static banner ads direct users to a landing page that shows both girls and boys clothes that users can swipe though. From there, consumers can click to find a store in the same mapping app.

Creative for the campaign is split into two demographics. For the teen-focused mobile sites, copy reads, “Why pick 1 look at the mall” while the copy for parent content is, “Back to school savings.”

Mobile results
According to Kargo, during the first week the campaign saw more than a six percent conversion rate from consumers swiping through product pages to finding a store. Additionally, the floating 3D banner ads generated a 1.2 percent click-through rate.

In the first three days of the campaign, the static banner ads had approximately a half million impressions.

Additionally, users have spent an average of 93 seconds inside the units.

Burlington Coat Factory is not the only retailer without a commerce-enabled mobile site that is betting on location to drive sales.

For instance, T.J. Maxx also recently used a mobile device’s built in GPS to increase sales of tech products (see story).

Location-based advertising not only gives consumers an incentive to click on ads as long as they are relevant but can also be used to measure revenue from specific bricks-and-mortar stores.

Going forward, brands need to look at more than just a campaign’s click-through rate to gauge its effectiveness, per Harry Kargman, CEO/founder of Kargo.

“What matters is engagement, increased desire and interaction with a brand post-advertising interaction – qualified audience is key,” Mr. Kargman said.

“What retailers care about is driving traffic into stores and getting users to positively interact with their brand and products,” he said. “If we can measure and prove out change in attitude towards the brand and its products post-advertising interaction, huge dollars will pour into mobile.  This is where we have to go as an industry.”

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