Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Retailer White House Black Market rolls out geo-fencing alerts

White House Black Market is rolling out location-based mobile FashionAlerts in 26 stores to provide customers with discounts, sales and style tips.

FashionAlerts will help the women’s specialty retailer communicate with its consumers via a new opt-in retail marketing technology. Through FashionAlerts, shoppers receive text messages from White House Black Market when they pass through specific geo-fenced areas.

“With FashionAlerts, White House Black Market can fully integrate mobile alerts to promote upcoming in-store promotions, new arrivals and style tips for its consumers when they’re near WHBM retail locations in order to increase relevancy and drive in-store traffic,” said Jenn McClain, director of online marketing at Chico’s FAS, the parent company of White House Black Market, Fort Meyers, FL.

Owned by Chico’s FAS Inc., White House Black Market offers chic, sophisticated apparel and accessories. Its consumer focus is women over 25 with moderate to high household incomes.

This demographic of women is proving to be increasingly receptive to mobile marketing, according to Harris Interactive surveys commissioned by Placecast.

In the most recent Harris survey of more than 2,000 consumers, data showed that women, especially between the ages of 35-54, are rapidly embracing mobile and using it to simplify their lives.

The survey found that 28 percent of women from 35-54 showed interest in mobile marketing messages, compared to 22 percent of men of the same age.

Though many in the mobile industry are tuned into the idea that men are more interested in gadgets, this data shows that women are as interested and in some cases more interested in using their phones for more than just talking.

Placecast powers the FashionAlerts program for White House Black Market.

Unlike mobile applications, Placecast’s mobile marketing technology works on any mobile phone, not just smartphones. 

FashionAlerts are now running in 26 of the retailer’s locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth and Chicago areas.

White House Black Market is recruiting participants through email, Facebook and Twitter.

Consumers can text WHBM to 25787 to register for the program.

Interested customers can join through a double opt-in process to receive the alerts. Once FashionAlerts is activated, the service will automatically alert a consumer if she has entered a White House Black Market geo-fenced area.

With FashionAlerts, White House Black Market plans to promote upcoming in-store sales, online promotions, new product releases, sweepstakes and style tips for its consumers and is looking to use location to increase relevancy and drive in-store traffic.

Message examples
The following are examples of the types of messages that women will receive once they have opted-in to get FashionAlerts:

WHBM Fashion Alerts: Updating your wardrobe? Discover our new fall arrivals this wknd & get $25 off $125 thru 8/21 w/code 9314 @WHBM Downtown Chicago.

WHBM Fashion Alerts: It’s the perfect time of year to save on swimwear! Visit and get 40% off all swim styles.

WHBM Fashion Alerts: Looking for the perfect skirt suit for the office? Visit WHBM Downtown Chicago for pieces w/inspired details & flattering cuts.

WHBM Fashion Alerts: We’re starting our End of Season Sale one day early just for you. Visit ur nearest White House Black Market boutique for great deals today!

WHBM Fashion Alerts: Our VIP gift to you – stop by WHBM Downtown Chicago thru 9/12 & get 15% off entire purchase & a free gift w/code 9342 while supplies last.

WHBM Fashion Alerts: Go from desk to dinner by adding–or subtracting–a jacket. Visit WHBM Downtown Chicago to get stunning day-2-night transformation pieces.

“We have seen more brands engage with their customers via location-based mobile marketing this year, and expect to see additional brands adopting the technology in 2011,” said Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast, San Francisco.

“Our research has shown that consumers, especially a rapidly growing number of women, are receptive to location-based marketing, provided that their privacy is secure,” he said. “And now, as evidenced by our recent partnership with O2, one of the largest carriers in the UK, we’re seeing that carriers are becoming involved in the process.”