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Sears triggers seasonal sales via targeted mobile ads

The Sears mobile ads are running within the New York Post iPhone application. Sears Holdings Corp. – which operates Sears, Kmart and Roebuck and Co. – has been building up its mobile repertoire over the past few years.

“The campaign is well-designed and has strong positive visuals,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

“The geo-targeting to New York is good, and the ad clearly says that there are some offers to be checked out, which is a compelling message for consumers,” he said.

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with Sears. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Sears did not respond to press inquiries.

Seasonal sales
The mobile ad’s copy features scrolling animation that reads, “New York, Spring is Here!”

A call-to-action then prompts users to click-through to check out the latest garden and lawn offers.

When consumers tap on the ad, they are redirected to a page on Sears’ mobile site that is filtered to only show lawn and garden items.

Although brands continue to invest more in mobile advertising, there are still plenty of campaigns that do not match up the creative with the follow-through.

The Sears ad is simple, but effective in targeting a specific group of consumers and getting users to the products that are advertised quickly.

Once consumers are on the Sears mobile site, they can search by product categories grouped into lawn and garden, such as chain saws, ATV attachments, lawn mowers and snow removal equipment.

From there, consumers can browse through product pages with additional information and photos.

The site also asks if it is OK to use a consumer’s location, which is tied to an option that enables in-store pick-up.

Consumers can view a list of stores where the product is available and times that it will be available.

Mobile past
Sears has been active in mobile for while with initiatives that drive in-store traffic and sales.

Last year, Sears and Kmart rolled out mobile-point-of-sale smartphones and tablets to help speed up check-out lines during the holidays (see story).

Additionally, the retailers ramped up their mobile initiatives during last year’s holiday season with efforts that targeted the company’s Shop Your Way rewards program members. Consumers could buy gifts on their mobile devices and pick-up in store the same day (see story).

For big-box retailers such as Sears, continuing to look for new ways to engage shoppers is critical, and mobile is playing a big role for many of these companies.

In particular, geo-targeting an ad similar to the Sears campaign can be effective for reaching consumers at local levels.

“I think it’s a good idea to be targeted on mobile as consumers are shopping on a small screen and may be on the move so simplicity and focus are good things,” Mr. Buckingham said.

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