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IKEA continues to build mobile presence to win customers

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is leveraging the mobile platform to reach consumers via advertisements, contests, a customer-relationship management program, coupons and a WAP shopping site.

IKEA’s Seattle store has been running a monthly mobile contest giving opted-in consumers the chance to win a $500 IKEA gift card. The Seattle store also features a mobile club offering customers savings and special offers to encourage loyalty. The mobile site serves almost as a shopping assistant.

“It’s vital for retailers to provide a mobile Web presence for shoppers,” said Nick Taylor, president of Usablenet, NY. “Customers are already trying to make purchases through their phones, so why not let them have a successful experience?”

IKEA is one of the largest home furnishings retailers worldwide, with more than 275 stores in 36 countries.

IKEA also has a mobile shopping site at

Consumers can enter their ZIP code to find the closest retail location, sign up for text message alerts and email news blasts from the furniture store and participate in polls.

Also featured on the mobile Web site is a section featuring sale items called New Lower Prices.

Items in New Lower Prices are displayed with photos, the current price, last year’s price and other details such as color, materials used and dimensions.

New Lower Prices is organized by categorizes such as Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom and Textiles.

Females between the ages of 18-49 are the key demographic for IKEA’s loyalty mobile campaigns. A secondary demographic is families.

Every month consumers can enter for a chance to win the $500 IKEA gift card by texting the keyword WINNER to short code 62345.

If consumers are entering the contest for the first time, they will be asked to enroll in IKEA Mobile, the furniture retailer’s free program that provides alerts and special deals.

To join IKEA Mobile, consumers text IKEA1 to 62345.

Consumers receive a text message every month about new offers that are exclusively for IKEA’s mobile club members.

IKEA texts a monthly offer coupon code, then consumers bring the coupon to an IKEA Mobile kiosk at the Seattle store and scan it to receive a choice of offers.

Besides the $500 gift card sweepstakes, IKEA will also send text messages about other opportunities to win prizes.

BCode is powering the SMS discounts and reported that there had been more than 15,000 offer redemptions as of June (see story).

The iPhone application lets consumers browse hundreds of gowns and dresses with interstitial advertisements (see story).

Consumers can click to shop online, click to find a nearby IKEA location or click to send an email to a friend or family member.

“IKEA is running ads on the platform and it makes all the sense, it’s a really good, natural fit because people getting married will probably be dropping some money at IKEA,” said Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow, Mountain View, CA.

“Their ads all have similar capabilities as in the application, users can put items on hold or find a close store, and it’s the same simplicity,” he said.

Lynn Tornabene, chief marketing officer at Quattro Wireless, New York, said that retailers need to have a mobile presence because that is where customers are.

“To effectively reach consumers and drive them into your retail locations today, you want to be in front of them when they are making that decision of which retailer to enter to spend their money,” Ms. Tornabene said.

“The consumer is accessing the mobile Web throughout their day, with a recent AOL/Universal McCann study noting that 80 percent of respondents are using mobile when they are shopping, and more than 60 percent when they are commuting,” she said.

“So by advertising on the mobile Web and maintaining a mobile site, retailers can reach buyers at that last moment of truth.”