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Target spotlights aisle-specific mobile coupons via in-store signage

Target is driving sales of household products by placing signage in designated in-store aisles, prompting shoppers to text a keyword to a phone number to receive an exclusive mobile coupon.

Target shoppers interested in stocking up on household cleaning supplies will likely find their smartphones to be opportune shopping buddies once they stumble upon in-store signage advertising an available mobile coupon. After consumers text the keyword CLEAN to TARGET, the retailer will send them a follow-up SMS message containing a bar code which can be used to receive $15 off a purchase of $50 or more.

“Offering coupons at the point-of-purchase display via text messaging is a creative way to surprise shoppers with instant savings,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Delivering promotions and coupons is a variety of mediums (print, email, apps and text) is key to appealing to the unique preferences of individuals.

“Text messaging is quick and easy and doesn’t require a special membership or the effort to download an app. While the highest level of customer engagement is through branded apps, not all customers are willing to take the effort to download an app and keep it on their precious screen space.”

Fueling impromptu purchases
Target’s wide repertoire of available products lends itself well to driving impulse buys, particularly among new shoppers who are not yet well-versed in which locations their favorite items are stocked.

Individuals looking for cleaning supplies may be greeted by noticeable signs placed near aisles, inviting mobile users to receive a $15 off coupon to use on select brands. The sign showcases a list of participating marketers under each individual category, such as laundry care, kitchen essentials and household cleaners.

Shoppers do not have to download Target’s Cartwheel application, which is typically used for locating coupons, to take advantage of the promotion. Instead, they may simply pull out their personal device and text the word CLEAN to 827438.

The subsequent text will send customers a clickable link, which then opens up to the mobile coupon. The coupon contains a unique bar code, valid through January 2, 2016.

Underneath the bar code, users may find a replica of the list of participating brands to ensure that their household items meet the requirements needed to receive the $15 off $50 discount. Consumers will be able to enjoy the offer when buying products from marketers including Tide, Febreze, Bounty, Kleenex, Dawn and Palmolive, among others.

Target is likely to experience a stronger surge in cleaning supplies sales following this limited-time deal, proving how effective mobile can be when attempting to drive impulse purchases. Shoppers wanting to use the smartphone-enabled coupon may be swayed to add more participating items into their cart to hit the $50 minimum balance.

Polishing up digital sales
Mobile coupons are not Target’s only foray into digital strategy. The retailer has been at the mobile forefront of its sector this year, thanks to strong initiatives including new smartphone applications, a revamped mobile Web experience and shoppable videos on social media.

Last month, Target released version 2.0 of its popular Cartwheel iPhone app, boasting a forward-looking approach to delivering shopping shortcuts and personalization (see story).

The mobile coupon contains a scannable bar code

Target is also reportedly working on its own mobile wallet, borrowing a page from Walmart as the need to address consumers’ growing demand for smartphone services takes on greater urgency (see story).

Consequently, the brand is well-poised to start off 2016 on the right foot, especially if it continues placing increased focus on mobile-savvy, on-the-go shoppers.

“Since nearly 80 percent of shoppers have a smartphone, other retailers will likely follow suit and advertise mobile coupons on in-store displays,” Mr. Naumann said. “When shoppers stumble across an unexpected special deal, it inspires them to buy more to take advantage of the deal.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York