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Lord & Taylor builds on mobile innovations with geolocation mystery coupon

Lord & Taylor builds on recent mobile innovations while dialing up the intrigue for mobile users with a new mystery coupon that does not reveal the discount amount until a shopper is inside the store.

When shoppers who have the SnipSnap application on their phone are within 500 meters of a Lord & Taylor store, they will be presented with a push notification offer to visit the nearby store to receive a mystery coupon. Customers who engage with the push notification will be able to scratch off the coupon to reveal an offer of between 15 percent and 25 percent off their purchase as well as a mobile coupon code that can be used in the store to redeem the offer.

“The goal of the effort is to better understand excitement through ‘gamification’ and excitement through mobile couponing,” said Ryan Craver, senior vice president of corporate strategy for the department stores group at Lord & Taylor’s parent company The Hudson’s Bay Co., Toronto.

“Mobile couponing allows us to provide our most relevant coupons in the pocket of each customer at any point in time,” he said. “Our goal is to make the coupon available whenever, wherever and however the customer wants to access.

“Mobile plays a major role in all areas of our business. With mobile consuming such a large percentage of our customers eye share, we must provide compelling mobile experiences. We will continue to work with various couponing, geotargeting, affiliate apps to ensure we provide our customers with a consistent and enjoyable experience across all major mobile apps.”

Mobilizing direct mail
The Lord & Taylor mystery coupon was activated April 28 and will be available through May 1 exclusively on SnipSnap.

Lord & Taylor has been working with the SnipSnap app since earlier this year, offering a number of standard coupons giving shoppers a way to save on their purchases.

Looking for a way to take those efforts to the next level, Lord & Taylor and SnipSnap came up with the idea for the mystery coupon, which is a mobilized version of a direct mail coupon the retailer has been using for some time.

The mobile coupon

In the print version, the coupon has an area covered in foil that can be scratched off with a coin to reveal the savings underneath.

Repurposing such a coupon for mobile makes sense because it takes advantage of the devices’ touch screen capabilities.

Mobile at scale
Mobile enables Lord & Taylor to take the scratch-off concept further by leveraging the devices’ location capabilities so that the coupon is not activated until shoppers are nearby a store.

The promotion should also give the retailer some interesting insights into mobile-enabled shoppers as it will be able to tell how many coupons are activated and compare that to how many are redeemed.

In general, one of the challenges retailers face with mobile coupons is getting them in front of a large group of consumers.

With SnipSnap, the retailer is able to bring its coupons to the app’s three million users. Hoping to extend that reach, Lord & Taylor is one of several retailers working with SnipSnap to promote the coupons outside of the app via display ads and ads on Facebook.

Innovating retail
Lord & Taylor has been actively innovating in mobile this year.

Last month, it became one of the first department store retailers to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, working with app Pounce to enable customers to purchase directly from a print ad (see story).

“Lord & Taylor is one of the most progressive retailers that we’ve encountered,” said Ted Mann, CEO and founder of SnipSnap, Philadelphia, PA. “They are trying lots of new stuff in mobile.

“They’ve been eager to do targeted coupons and we’re talking about incorporating mobile into Web coupons,” he said.

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