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Gap unzips summer sales with mobile passport for earning badges, winning prizes

Gap is tightening the seams on sales this summer with a 100-day-long sweepstakes encouraging customers to complete daily selfie challenges to earn badges using a mobile-optimized passport feature and potentially win prizes.

Gap’s Passport to Summer sweepstakes asks consumers to sign into the designated microsite via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or Instagram to receive access to daily challenges, which include tasks such as posting a photo of a favorite frozen yogurt combination. The summer-long contest offers players an incentive to check for new content each day and also provides easy access to discount codes, a feature that will likely ramp up sales for Gap as consumers begin stocking up on warm-weather apparel and accessories.

“Most consumers will probably be more interested in the 40 percent-off coupon code than the chance to win a sweepstakes prize, because the discount is a sure thing,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners.

“However, there is a segment of consumers that will enjoy the thrill of seeing how many entries they can get by participating in all of the selfie opportunities,” he said. “The selfies are fun and it gets consumers to continue to interact with the brand on a daily basis to see what the theme of the day will be.”

Digital passports to retail
Consumers can sign up for the sweepstakes – which is powered by HelloWorld – by visiting Passport to Summer on their smartphones or desktops. The campaign microsite will prompt visitors to sign in via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google Plus before bringing them to the contest landing page.

There, players can see the amount of entries they have left for each week and month, as well as for the grand prize, which is a trip to Hawaii for two.

Players are not required to complete every challenge in order to win a prize, although higher participation translates to a higher number of contest entries.

The campaign landing page showcases each day’s challenge, which users can complete by tapping the “Take the Challenge” button. This will prompt the pictures folder to appear on desktops and will enable the camera on consumers’ smartphones, depending on which device they opt to use.

Therefore, players may find it easier to participate in the game solely via their mobile devices, since all photos must be taken in real-time to adhere to the daily theme.

Individuals can also scroll down the site to view other people’s submitted photos and potentially glean inspiration for their own entries.

Previous challenges have tasked consumers with taking a photo of themselves while supporting their favorite cause, eating a donut, attending a concert and seeing a movie, among other activities.

Once each challenge has been finished, users will receive a badge they can keep in their mobile-optimized passport, which is accessible within the microsite. This will make it simpler for them to keep track of the number of entries they have submitted.

Additional entries can also be garnered by checking in at a Gap bricks-and-mortar store via Facebook, an action that requires a mobile device. Offering incentives for mobile check-ins is a smart move for any retailer, as consumers may become inspired to visit the same store in which their friend is currently shopping, particularly if a promotion is happening.

Another way to collect contest entries is to snap a photo of a recent Gap receipt and upload it to the microsite. The microsite contains a $5 off $50 promotional code for any participant wanting to peruse Gap’s products on mobile or in-store.

However, there is no purchase required to participate in the sweepstakes.

Unhooking mobile incentives
Gap is offering players the chance to win a slew of weekly and monthly prizes during the sweepstakes. Weekly prizes include 80 Gap gift cards and 80 Visa gift cards, both worth $30, while monthly rewards consist of 15 Gap gift cards and 15 Ticketmaster gift cards, both worth $100.

Twenty secondary grand prizes from Shutterfly – worth $100 – are also up for grabs. The grand prize is a trip to Hawaii for two that will give the winner a chance to extend his or summer.

Participants will also earn a 40 percent-off discount code to use on their next Gap purchase, an incentive that will likely spur more shopping enthusiasts to interact with the campaign microsite.

Gap has been ramping up its mobile marketing initiatives over the last year as it angles to retain millennials’ interest and keep seasonal sales high.

Last summer, Virgin Hotels Chicago tapped Gap Inc.’s Reserve In Store capability to enable guests to shop via the retailer’s mobile app or site and have their new wardrobe delivered to their hotel rooms (see story).

Additionally, Gap brought its limited-edition artist collection to mobile shopping app Spring last year to drive sales with younger demographics and develop a trendier image (see story).

The Passport to Summer sweepstakes’ strong mobile components will ensure that Gap stays at the forefront of digitally savvy consumers’ minds.

“With more Internet usage now taking place on mobile devices than desktop computers, it is imperative that all marketing campaigns must be designed to be mobile-friendly,” Mr. Naumann said. “This is especially important for Gap’s Passport to Summer campaign, as much of the interactions are based on selfies taken from consumers’ mobile phones.”