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Sephora, Things Remembered leverage in-mall mobile offers app to drive traffic

Top brands including Sephora and Things Remembered are among the retailers joining forces with StepsAway, an in-mall mobile application that offers consumers immediate deals.

The app is designed to offer retailers time-sensitive opportunities to influence purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores, especially while the consumer is in a prime location to do so. In select malls, Sephora is running a promotion in conjunction with the app for free customized makeovers in order to drive more in-store traffic.

“As the 2014 holiday shopping season ramps up, retailers are looking to maximize omnichannel marketing investments and reap the biggest revenues of the season,” said Allan Haims, CEO of StepsAway, Hollywood, CA.

“StepsAway arms national retailers with the ability to use existing digital assets and to customize promotions based on individual/regional store inventory needs so they can make real-time decisions about which types of products to promote and how best to adjust pricing on the fly.”

Easy for consumers
StepsAway aims for the app to be as simple to use for consumers as possible, so that most time can be spent browsing in store rather than browsing for deals.

“A key feature of the StepsAway app is that it is browser-based rather than being a native app,” Mr. Haims said. “This distinction allows consumers to access and save their desired deals at their convenience while in the mall without needing to download an app.”

StepsAway is considering adding push notifications in the future in case of flash sales or deals about to expire.

With Sephora’s current promotion, potential customers can visit the store and receive makeovers from the brand’s highly-trained makeup experts.

The retailer hopes that consumers will then be enticed to purchase some of the products used or remember the makeup brands’ products when shopping for makeup in the future.

Marketing tool
The StepsAway app is especially beneficial in driving impulse buys in-stores, especially during a busy shopping season when guests are on the lookout for gift inspirations. If a consumer walks by a store and notices an interesting item, they can scroll through the app and discover if there is a deal or coupon for that item or store available.

Currently participating malls in the United States have signage in food courts and customer service areas to promote the app and alert customers to potential discounts. Guests are invited to sign onto the mall’s Wi-Fi network to access the app.

The app is also being promoted on various social media pages, and has select teams available in certain malls to facilitate the shopping experience.

Ultimately, StepsAway claims that making discounts available in one easily accessible place will drive sales and make for a more profitable holiday season for everyone.

“We believe this competitive advantage will help super-charge retailers’ holiday shopping promotions,” Mr. Haims said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York