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Blimpie expands mobile repertoire with gift cards

Consumers can buy Blimpie gift cards on the company’s mobile site and redeem them through either SMS or email. Blimpie is fairly new to mobile with plans to expand its offerings this year.

“Whether it’s a gift for a friend’s birthday, graduations, holiday shopping or just a simple thank you, now you can send Blimpie subs instantly through a mobile device,” said Matt Gallagher, director of digital and interactive marketing at Blimpie, Scottsdale, AZ.

“Gift cards have been around awhile, and are a powerful way to grow sales — numbers show that consumers spend more when using a gift card,” he said.

“Blimpie would like to take a slice of this billion dollar industry and has launched plastic and mobile gift cards. We gave our customers the option of mobile functionality through email or SMS.”

How it works
Gift cards can be purchased on Blimpie’s mobile site under the egift card tab.

Three different designs are available for consumers to pick from.

Then consumers can select the amount of the gift card by common amounts such as $10, $15 or $25. Users can also type in a specific amount for their gift card.

Finally, users type in the recipient’s email and mobile phone number and can schedule a time for the gift card to be sent out. There is also a box where users can type in a personalized message for their gift card.

Consumers who choose to have the gift card sent to their mobile devices receive a SMS message with a link to a landing page. The gift card is tied to a code that employees enter at the point-of-sale.

Blimpie also has a Facebook app where consumers create and send gift cards that syncs with a user’s account to include a customized photo and audio recording.

For a sandwich chain such as Blimpie, utility is one of the main reasons that mobile makes sense to drive in-store traffic.

By using both SMS and email to send the offers, Blimpie is able to create a seamless experience for users to send and receive the gift cards.

Upcoming mobile efforts
According to Mr. Gallagher, 40 percent of Blimpie’s traffic comes from mobile devices.

To meet the growing mobile user base, the company rolled out a mobile site last year that features a store locator, offers, nutritional information and menu information geared towards on-the-go consumers.

This year, the company also has plans to launch a mobile application for iOS and Android devices.

“Blimpie plans to expand on their mobile strategy, with screen sizes scaling in both directions that will continue to focus on the user experience,” Mr. Gallagher said.

“The brand also plans to continue to increase marketing dollars spent on digital advertising with a strong focus on mobile,” he said.

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