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New York & Co. drives in-store traffic for loyalty members via SMS

Retailer New York & Co. is tapping into its SMS program to remind loyalty program users to use in-store points.

New York & Co. recently sent out a SMS message that encourages consumers to visit a store to redeem their loyalty points. The promotion is running through March 5.

“The ability to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message, has been the goal of every marketer,” said Tim Miller, president of Sumotext, Little Rock, AR.

“However, traditional strategies designed to leverage traditional customer relationship management databases are becoming less effective,” he said.

“As traditional mass marketing channels continue to give ground to targeted, interactive channels, the mobile phone has become the only common lynchpin capable of tethering multimedia, social networking, ecommerce and point-of-sale.”

Mr. Miller is not affiliated with New York & Co. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

New York & Co. did not respond to press inquiries.

SMS shoppers
The SMS message was sent to New York & Co.’s NY&C Rewards members who have a credit card with the retailer.

Shoppers who use their Rewards cards can receive CityCash points that can be redeemed for in-store credit.

The SMS message reads, “Remember: if you’re holding CityCash, redeem them.” The text message also explains to users that shoppers must redeem their points between Feb. 29 – March 5.

Sending a quick SMS message is a great way for a retailer to communicate with its loyalty program members.

The New York & Co. message is relevant to shoppers because it helps remind them that they have points to use and can be effective in driving in-store traffic.

The SMS message also directs users to a mobile-optimized page where they can learn more about New York and Co.’s SMS program and CityCash points. This is a smart move to help users understand why they are receiving the text messages.

However, the mobile site is not linked in the SMS message and users must type the URL into their mobile browser to access the page. Instead, the retailer could have linked to the page to let users quickly access the information.

Users can text keywords found on marketing material to opt-in to New York & Co.’s short code. For example, shoppers can text the keyword CELL, which is included in the retailer’s email marketing to the short code NYSTYL to join.

Mobile reminder
New York & Co. has been working hard to build its mobile database.

Recently, the company revealed that it used in-store displays, email marketing, social media and direct mail to build a network of 180,000 opted-in users (see story).

New York and Co. also has a commerce-enabled mobile site to let shoppers buy clothes while on the go.

By using SMS, the retailer is able to tie an incentive to an in-store experience that rewards users for shopping. New York & Co. is also able to build buzz about its loyalty program around a mobile component.

Additionally, the message is time-sensitive, which gives shoppers a reason to go to a store.

“Consumers moving, changing their email address, and dropping their home phone lines have all been natural disruptive forces,” Mr. Miller said.

“But changes in consumer behavior and the proliferation of social media has further complicated the databases and the strategy,” he said.

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