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GameStop exec: Beacons augment in-store experience, rewards usage

NEW YORK – A GameStop executive at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2015 revealed that in-store beacons, alongside augmented reality, are enhancing the in-store shopping process by offering a personalized experience and supporting the PowerUp Rewards loyalty program.

One of the key takeaways from the “GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards Loyalty Program: The Real Driver Behind a Mobile Channel Strategy” session is the heavy role that the brand’s mobile loyalty program plays in driving both in-store and online sales. Complemented by beacons which provide users with additional information about new releases and an augmented reality function to showcase snippets of particular games, GameStop is tapping mobile to help strengthen its significant bricks-and-mortar presence.

“Our engagement levels are incredibly high,” said Frank Hamlin, chief marketing officer at GameStop, Grapevine, TX. “Almost 100 percent of our active data base is entering one of our stores in any given year.

“You’ve got to be able to, with these digital technologies, understand that customer and market to them in that moment.”

The Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2015 was organized by Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer.

PowerUp’s influence
The executive claimed that one in five human beings is a member of the PowerUp rewards program, signifying the platform’s immense influence on consumers. The brand sees three times the sales from a PowerUp member over a regular walk-in, which provides optimal opportunity to target that customer with personalized deals.

PowerUp members also represent five times the profit of a regular customer.

GameStop customers are very active in-store, although online and mobile are paramount in influencing sales.

Forty percent of online traffic now comes from mobile, according to Mr. Hamlin, which will soon prompt mobile to become the primary form of traffic to all GameStop sites.

“For us, we have both a mobile-enabled site and a mobile app,” Mr. Hamlin said. “Within both of those things, [usage is] primarily product search and discovery.

“A big part of our business is trade values. Store information is an obvious use of it, but it’s also an incredibly functional use of it,” he said.

“Finally, it’s an enabler for managing your PowerUp account.”

Digital enhancements
GameStop relies on digital and mobile channels to also keep guests engaged while not in-store. Its mobile app has five million unique users and is growing at a rate of 68 percent.

The brand’s mobile users spend 81 percent more in general than PowerUp users, displaying the discrepancy between gaming fans who do not engage with GameStop on mobile and digital platforms. Mobile users also trade 53 percent more, and purchase 79 percent more pre-owned items.

These consumers have reacted positively to geo-fencing capabilities in bricks-and-mortar stores, such as the beacons, which were introduced approximately two months ago.

GameStop has equipped its GTI stores with tablets for each greeter associate, who can then meet customers at the door and engage in a small reward points exchange, access their account and look up existing trade balances.

Mobile app users are then directed to beacon-enabled areas, where they can receive information about latest game releases, and bring up that content on a nearby in-store television with a flick of their wrist. Consumers who are unsure about purchasing a specific game may tap augmented reality to catch a preview of it on mobile or tablet.

Lastly, GameStop enables associates to build a digital dashboard of social media content, which functions as a portal for employees to create relevant posts and send to customers at any time.

“We are very focused on the chronology of these technologies,” Mr. Hamlin said. “When we get it right, we make sure that we’ve changed lives.”

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