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Bon-Ton rings up mobile gift guide, instant win game for Mother’s Day

The Bon-Ton Stores is rolling out a mobile-optimized instant win game and offering easy access to a Mother’s Day gift guide for on-the-go shoppers in an attempt to stay top of mind for the upcoming holiday.

Consumers can visit Bon-Ton’s campaign microsite on their smartphones or desktops to take advantage of the limited-time sweepstakes, which also benefits March of Dimes. The retail chain is ramping up to increase brand awareness and prompt individuals to purchase their Mother’s Day gifts at its stores by unveiling a complementary mobile-optimized gift guide that lets users peruse options based on their mother’s personality type.

“In today’s world, consumers are on-the-go more than ever and we want it to be easy for our shoppers to enroll in the program on their mobile devices, and play the instant win sweepstakes wherever they are,” said Tiffany Cooley, vice president of marketing at The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “By optimizing the Celebrate Mom! Web site for mobile, consumers have an easily-navigable interface that mimics the ease of playing on desktop.”

A mobile celebration
Bon-Ton’s sweepstakes, which is powered by digital engagement platform HelloWorld, runs through May 8, giving consumers ample time to enter the daily instant win game and try their hand at receiving the grand prize, which consists of a bundle pack of all 20 featured prizes.

Consumers can participate in the “Celebrate Mom! Love. Gift. Repeat.” sweepstakes by visiting on their smartphones or desktops. The campaign microsite will prompt players to sign in via their Facebook account, or enter their name and email.

The game will then greet players by name and ask them to tap the center of the displayed flower. After clicking the button, consumers will discover whether they have won a prize. If they have not, the sweepstakes will encourage them to return the following day for another chance.

In addition to giving shoppers the ability to earn prizes, Bon-Ton is donating up to 5,000 baby essentials from top retail brands to the March of Dimes organization.

Introducing mobile games to coincide with major commerce-oriented holidays is a paramount strategy for any retail chain to leverage.

“The stakes for marketers are ever increasing during the major shopping holidays, and few feel these pressures as much as retailers,” said Michael Puffer, senior director of mobile solutions and strategy at HelloWorld. “Brands count on strong performance during the holidays literally for survival, yet, many continue to experience intensified competition, lower sales, and lower margins year-over-year.

“Peak holiday shopping is where retailers drive the bulk of their new customer acquisition, capture more share of wallet, and supplement early quarter sales. Mobile-first promotions that remove barriers and make engagement fun and rewarding have been retailers’ most successful tool in the holiday arsenal in recent years.”

Digital gifting
Bon-Ton’s campaign also includes a mobile-optimized gift guide inspired by a variety of lifestyles. Users will be invited to browse the brand’s guide before and after playing the sweepstakes game.

Consumers can filter gift options by selecting which personality type best describes their mother. Several options include presents for a “mom who wants to travel,” “has a new baby,” “loves wine,” “lives for the beach” and “loves to decorate.”

Each category provides ten different gift suggestions. Individuals can enter the sweepstakes to win one of the showcased options, or opt to shop similar styles on Bon-Ton’s Web site.

The gift suggestions are also able to be Pinned on Pinterest, enabling consumers to stockpile ideas before making their final purchase.

Several other retailers have forayed into the lucrative strategy of providing gift guides for on-the-go consumers searching for quick ideas on their smartphones.

Over the holiday season, Express relied on artfully curated Instagram posts to inspire last-minute shoppers to click the link in its account bio and peruse mobile-optimized gift guides for men and women (see story).

“Part of the reason we formatted this initiative as a days-of-giving gift guide was to help Bon-Ton shoppers identify the right gifts for the moms in their lives, based on their personality types,” Bon-Ton’s Ms. Cooley said. “We know that finding the right gift can sometimes be difficult, but through Celebrate Mom!, shoppers can easily see the perfect gift available at their nearest Bon-Ton store or online, whether it be for a mom ‘who loves to cook,’  a mom ‘who hits the gym,’ or any other type of mom.

“Our goal is to make gift shopping as easy as possible this Mother’s Day.”