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JCPenney incentivizes in-store traffic with location-based campaign

JCPenney has relied on mobile advertising heavily in the past year to promote specific promotions and offers. The JCPenney ads are running within the AP News iPhone application.

“Our mobile button site is part of our overall holiday button campaign,” said Ann Marie Bishop, spokeswoman at JCPenney, Plano, TX.

“The mobile version of allows customers to redeem their button codes on the go,” she said. “Each day, users can click on a new button and receive a surprise such as a game, recipe, greeting card or trivia quiz shareable via social networks.”

Holiday cheer
The banner ads are geo-targeted to show consumers how close they are to a nearby JCPenney store.

When consumers tap on the mobile ads, a landing page is brought up that pulls in JCPenney’s mobile site for its “Merry Christmas America” holiday campaign.

The holiday marketing effort revolves around driving consumers into stores, where they can collect buttons.

Each button has a seven-digit code that can be entered online for a chance to win more than 20 million prizes such as merchandise, holiday certificates and vacation packages.

Consumers can enter two different codes each day through Christmas Eve.

Via the ad unit, consumers can click through to find the nearest JCPenney, which includes directions, address and click-to-call options.

The campaign’s microsite is also set up to include a button calendar, which tracks the number of days leading up to Christmas. Additionally, each day is linked with an activity such as a game or trivia quiz that can be shared across social media sites.

Since the primary goal here is to drive in-store traffic, using a location-based campaign is a great way for JCPenney to boost holiday sales.

Furthermore, entering the codes on the button is the main purpose of the mobile site, meaning that it is critical that the experience is optimized when consumers are in-store with their mobile device most likely in hand.

By using updated daily content, the mobile site keeps users coming back on a regular basis.

Mobile year
JCPenney has been on a roll this year with mobile.

For example, in May the company rolled out a time-sensitive, commerce-enabled campaign on Pandora’s iPhone app that let users shop from their handsets (see story).

The brand also expanded its advertising platforms this year to help educate consumers on the company’s rebranding (see story).

Additionally, the company announced earlier this year that it plans to replace its cash registers with mobile check-outs by 2013 (see story).

“Mobile continues to be an important customer touch point of our overall integrated marketing campaign,” Ms. Bishop said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York