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Vans leverages Bluetooth to target mall shoppers with special offer

Vans recently saw a 75 percent engagement rate by targeting mall shoppers with a mobile offer during the key back-to-school shopping period.

The bonus bucks promotion offered users an extra $20 extra in-store when they made a $50 purchase and was delivered online and inside Vans stores nationwide. However, at major malls in Boston and Los Angeles, shoppers with a mobile phone received a prompt on their screens to opt-in to receive the offer.

“Even while shopping, most people literally keep their cell phones in their hand,” said Michael Trepeta, co-CEO of Mobiquity Technologies, Garden City, NY.

“With almost every phone, both feature and smart, coming standard with Bluetooth, the mobile era has given us a ubiquitous solution to allow a retailer to create a one-to-one experience to help influence the path to purchase,” he said.

“Although we encourage the delivery of special offers as well, retailers realize the power of the solution is the delivery of rich digital content showcasing beautiful merchandise to elicit the desire of the shopper to visit the store.”

Vans leveraged Mobiquity’s mall network to deliver the campaign on mobile devices.

Ready to shop
Mobiquity uses Bluetooth technology in the common areas of malls to recognize shoppers with mobile devices and send them prompts about campaigns they can opt-in to receive.

This enabled Vans to extend the promotion beyond desktop and in-store channels to reach mobile users.

With Apple’s introduction of iBeacon and PayPal’s Beacon, there is renewed interest in leveraging Bluetooth technology for mobile marketing as the technology is already available within many smartphones and feature phones in consumers’ hands.

Mobile makes sense for an effort such as this because Vans is a manufacturer and retailer of shoes and apparel that targets young, active consumers, a demographic that tends to be heavy users of mobile.

Also, by reaching users when they were inside a mall, the offer reached them at a time when they were already in the mindset to shop.

The average mall has over 200 retail stores, and industry statistics indicate shoppers typically visit between three and five stores in a typical shopping trip to the mall. Mobile can help retailers be one of those stores that shoppers visit by reaching them on a device that is in their hands or pocket.

In comparison, much of the other media inside a mall is passive.

The campaign ran between Aug. 23 and Sept. 2. During this time, Mobiquity delivered prompts to 20,881 mobile devices, resulting in 3,364 mobile downloads and an engagement rate of 75 percent.

“Mobile has become a very important touch point, and Mobiquity’s location-based mobile solution provides a unique opportunity to influence a shopper at the most important of moments, when a shopper is just feet from their storefront and ready to make purchasing decisions,” Mr. Trepeta said.

“Technology advancements have changed the marketing playing field and with that the expectations of ‘fans,’” he said.

“Mobile should not be thought of as one size fits all. Marketers are all vying for the consumers’ attention. Give them what they want, where they want it, when they want it and of course how they want it.”

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