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JCPenney finds in-store mobile is right fit for Cinderella promotion

JCPenney is weaving a tale of mobile and movie magic in its stores this spring through a partnership with the shopkick application and Disney’s new Cinderella film.

From March 6 to 19, customers in JCPenney stores with a Disney shop will be able earn rewards and enter sweepstakes by using the shopkick app on their smartphones to scan the bar codes appearing on special glass slipper signs throughout the stores. The mobile in-store activation is part of a bigger promotion around JCPenney’s Cinderella tie-in that also includes social, digital and other mobile elements.

“Mobile is the most versatile tool a retailer can use to market to its shoppers,” said Natalie Clark, retail partnerships manager at shopkick. “Because shoppers always have their phones with them, the retailer can create fun mobile experiences to bridge browsing merchandise online at home to shopping in-store to going to your local theater to see a new movie.

“By using shopkick to market Cinderella, JCPenney is able to have a 1:1 conversation with the shopper about how its products inspire a ‘Cinderella moment’ while they’re in the JCPenney aisle, and shoppers can leverage the reward they receive for that experience by purchasing a mobile movie ticket via the shopkick app,” she said.

Glass slipper
JCPenney shoppers who use the shopkick app to scan the bar codes appearing on glass slipper signs will receive 25 kicks per scan. Kicks are the rewards currency in the shopkick app.

Shoppers who scan all four signs will receive 50 bonus kicks.

Additionally, customers will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win JCPenney gift cards to complete their own Cinderella look.

The promotion is a great example of how department store retailers can leverage mobile to drive engagement and excitement for in-store shoppers.

Specifically, JCPenney is hoping to drum up some interested in its Disney shops, which launched in late 2013. The collection of toys, costumes and children’s apparel is being expanded this year to an additional 116 stores.

In-store engagement
By offering a bonus to shoppers who scan all four signs using the shopkick app, this encourages them to stay in the store longer and visit additional areas.

The shopkick activation is part of a bigger promotion built around a new line of exclusive products for the Cinderella live-action feature film.

A planned integrated marketing campaign includes a television commercial that will debut during the Academy Awards. The department store chain is the official retail sponsor of the awards show, which is taking place on Feb. 22.

Additional elements of the campaign include an in-store giveaway, with customers who spend $25 or more on any Disney Collection purchase between Feb. 19 and April 15 receiving a free, reusable Cinderella tote bag.

Customers shopping the JCPenney store in Manhattan Mall from Feb. 12 to 22 will have the opportunity to see a display of the ball gown featured in the movie.

Design students from The Fashion School at Kent State University will be invited to view the gown and submit their design interpretation of a modern day fairy tale look for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship and an opportunity to have their design displayed. The teens selected will also receive a JCPenney shopping spree and makeover and have the opportunity to attend the red carpet premiere of “Cinderella” on March 1 at the El Capitan Theatre.

Indoor location
The shopkick portion of the promotion is an example of how bricks-and-mortar retailers are increasingly looking to mobile drive engagement with in-store shoppers.

A recent report from ABI Research forecast that indoor location deployments in the retail sector approached 25,000 by the end of 2014, up more than 100 percent from 2013.

The growth is occurring across all major technologies, including Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi and audio.

ABI Research also expects that, in 2015, major gains will be made in the quick-service restaurant sector and with technologies such as handset-based location, sensor fusion, magnetic field and LED.

“Mobile strategies are unique to each department store retailer,” Ms. Clark said. “Some have been thinking about mobile for quite some time, some are just now coming to terms with how central mobile is to the shopping experience.

“Regardless, all retailers are still working to integrate their online and in-store experiences with mobile to enable a seamless, personalized, satisfying experience for each and every shopper,” she said. “However, a select few retailers, JCPenney included, are pulling ahead of the pack by leveraging platforms like shopkick that specialize in targeting the shopper all throughout the path to purchase.

“When JCPenney markets via shopkick, it is able to gain quick insights into its shoppers’ use of mobile in-store and how it can leverage mobile in its owned channels down the line in order to make the biggest impact on facilitating a great shopping experience.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York