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Michaels exec: QR codes, SMS will increase holiday sales

During the “Michaels Stores: Engaging Retail Customers Before, During and After the Sale” session, the executive discussed how the arts and crafts specialty retailer will be driving its holiday sales even though it does not have a commerce-enabled Web or mobile presence. The session was moderated by Erik McMillan, president/CEO of BestFit Mobile, Austin, TX.

“We believe that this rich content, such as QR codes, will ultimately increase sales for Michaels,” said Anthony Price, senior director of digital marketing and PR for Michaels Stores Inc., Irving, TX.

“Ultimately, we want to engage our customers in a project,” he said. “As we gear up for our fall seasons, we want to stay connected with our customers and really use our QR codes for the fall and holiday season whether it would be making a gift for a friend or a decorative item for the holidays.

“We’ll also be utilizing SMS and push notifications.”

Mobile crafts
When Michaels first decided that it would dip its toes in the mobile space, the company knew that it had to have some actionable and measurable goals.

“We needed to attract a younger demographic and make it easy for our customer and drive in-store sales via mobile,” Mr. Price said.

“We spent a lot of marketing dollars for mobile and digital to engage the customer with a deeper engagement for that two-way interaction,” he said.

“We have to be able to measure and show that we are driving the footsteps in the store.”

Michaels also saw the advantages of coupons and giving consumers timely offers.

“Customers want our coupons in the palm of their hands and be able to redeem that in-store.

Mr. Price said the company, which launched its iPhone app in the beginning of July, will release an Android app next week.

“Basically, it doesn’t stop here for us,” Mr. Price said. “It’s about how we can enhance and build other engagement platforms to further engage our customers.

“Certainly gift cards are important to us as we’re coming into the holiday season,” he said. “It should be apparent that we aim to make Michaels and crafting available to our customers.”

Consumer engagement
Michaels is implementing the mobile bar codes on its newspaper circulars that lead consumers to project ideas and how-to videos that also let them sign up and receive special deals and offers.

Although a build of the company’s merchandise is not available online or through its mobile app, Mr. Price said the company strives to make the consumer shopping experience as seamless as possible.

“It’s about engagement,” Mr. Price said. “We want to be that source of creativity.”

Final Take