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Kohl’s in-app wallet drives 30pc of mobile traffic

During a conference call with analysts last week to discuss the retailer’s second quarter results, Kohl’s executives talked up the success of its new app, which has had more than 2 million downloads this year for a total of more than 8 million users. The wallet feature in the app is focused on offers and promotions, enabling users able to scan and save Kohl’s Cash and offers to the wallet and then redeem them at checkout.

“Mobile now accounts for a significant percentage of in-store revenue – $4 billion this year –  and features like payments and offer redemption play a big role in that,” said Lauren Hand, marketing director at GPShopper.

“Smart retailers are increasingly leveraging their app features and integrations  – like private-label credit cards and loyalty programs – to offer consumers the convenience they crave,” she said.

“Being able to view your balance or points to next reward isn’t available with plastic, and intuitive app features like this help create the seamless shopping experience that customers have come to expect.”

The other big news from Kohl’s is that it is planning to extend its new Buy Online, Pick Up In Store service from desktop to mobile for the first time.

Kohl’s finished the completion of the service to all stores during the second quarter. However, it has not been marketed at all and has only been available on desktop.

In the third quarter, the chain will ramp up the service with an aggressive marketing campaign once it becomes available on mobile and tablets.

Such click-and-collect services are becoming increasingly popular for large bricks-and-mortar retailers as they look to provide the omnichannel experiences that customers increasingly crave.

These services are particularly well-suited for mobile users, who are frequently shopping from the smartphones when they have a few free minutes at various times throughout their day. By being able to quickly order an item of interest from their phone and know that they it will be ready for them to pick up on their way home, this brings added convenience to customers and can help retailers drive impulse sales.

Holiday shopping
These mobile developments are the latest example of how Kohl’s continues to put smartphone shoppers at the center of its marketing strategy.

Earlier this month Kohl’s drove sales of a new collaborative collection with Disney via social platforms, leveraging a multitude of tactics to attract fans of the Descendants made-for-TV film, including a social media sweepstakes, question-and-answer segments and trivia games (see story).

In the spring, Kohl’s ramped up efforts to bridge the gap between the retail world and the fitness sector by partnering with popular bloggers and instructors to provide workout tips on the retailer’s social media channels, in a bid to drive sales of its expanded active wear offerings (see story).

“In-store product reservation is a hot app feature in general right now,” Ms. Hand said. “It’s a great way for retailers to drive traffic into their physical stores, where customers are surrounded by other products they can see, feel and try on – this often increases the value of the sale.

“Mobile-driven features like product reservation and pick up in-store are going to be huge this holiday season, especially after December 17th, which is when we recommend our clients shift their mobile messaging to drive traffic into their local brick-and-mortar locations to avoid any shipping glitches,” she said.

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