Bloomingdale’s fall campaign creates a team from its followers

Luxury Daily – Department store chain Bloomingdale’s is looking to continue back-to-school sales with an effort that taps user-generated content to expand its reach. In keeping with a back-to-school theme, Bloomingdale’s is promoting its “varsity-level” fall collection by mining social media for user content to incorporate on its Instagram. Spanning various social channels, Bloomingdale’s is weaving its campaign content into a strategy that will entice users to participate.

“By increasing their social media exposure through key influencers in the Instagram world, Bloomingdale’s will effectively spread brand exposure to thousands of potential consumers,” said Laura Sossong, manager at Boston Retail Partners. “A large-scale promotion of this nature that compels multitudes of fashion bloggers to participate creates synergy, volume and hype, making it particularly effective in attracting new appeal.”

“This Bloomingdale’s unique contest is a great way to incentivize brand ambassadorship and reach a large population with a simple, low barrier to entry giveaway,” Ms. Sossong said. “It also gives shoppers inspiration, promoting sales by allowing them to visualize how they would wear various pieces from Bloomingdale’s.

“By searching the keyword #100percentbloomies, access to thousands of photos is provided in one simple, easy to access and easy to shop spot,” she said.

Read Full Article: Bloomingdale’s fall campaign creates a team from its followers

DFS, Michael Kors bring well-traveled positioning together in-store

Luxury Daily – LVMH-owned travel retailer DFS is embracing Michael Kors’ jet-set lifestyle through exclusive products and in-store enhancements.

This September, DFS’ T Galleria locations will host an exclusive Michael Kors collection of men and women’s apparel and accessories, including an edition of the Mercer handbag, which will only be found at DFS this fall. DFS often works with brands to curate duty-free shopping experiences because of travel retail’s mass appeal to consumers making their way through airport terminals.

“Gamification certainly entices customers to enter bricks-and-mortar establishments and promotes true involvement in the culture of a brand,” said Laura Sossong, manager at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. “Experiential elements are a key differentiator in today’s competitive retail environment, as they create powerful moments that last long after a purchase.”

“DFS is wise in adopting new themes and ideologies concurrent with the launch of new brands, as it allows them to continuously offer elements of ‘surprise and delight,'” BRP’s Ms. Sossong said. “This plays well in generating the interest of today’s fickle consumer, and should be particularly effective in emerging Eastern markets.”

Read Full Article: DFS, Michael Kors bring well-traveled positioning together in-store

Let's be (Facebook) friends: How retailers can engage customers on social media

FoodDive – The U.S. Supermarket Shopper Digital Update, released by the Retail Feedback Group, found that just 25% of shoppers are connected to their primary grocery store on social media, according to Grocery Headquarters. The report showed the social media sites most frequented by shoppers include Facebook (89%), YouTube (53%) Twitter (30%), Pinterest (29%) and Instagram (28%). More than half of shoppers — 56% — interact with their primary food store on one or more digital platforms. These include looking at the digital circular (65%), researching special promotions (48%) and building grocery lists (46%).

Marketers almost universally praise social media as the way to reach more customers, but grocery retailers don’t seem to be establishing those all-important relationships as much as they should. A report from Boston Retail Partners last August found that 81% of all retailers using social media to engage with customers believe their processes need improvement.

More than 23% of consumers between the ages of 18-32 said they prefer to learn about the different sales and see customer reviews on social media sites, so it’s important to set up a strong social media presence.

Recent statistics show that 73% of marketers are increasing their use of video, and many analysts believe that’s the best way for grocery to attract more people to their social media pages.

Read Full Article: Let’s be (Facebook) friends: How retailers can engage customers on social media

Pepsi takes notes from fashion brands with holiday pop-up

Mobile Commerce Daily – PepsiCo is merchandising out its emoji campaign for its namesake brand, hoping to get in on the holiday season and tooling together call-to-action mobile marketing techniques such as a White Elephant giveaway on social media.

The Pepsi brand will be joining the numerous fashion and accessories brands who set up pop-up shops for the holiday season for its holiday #SayItWithPepsi campaign, but the shop will not have a bricks-and-mortar presence. will be available for a limited amount of time where users can shop merchandise featuring holiday versions of the Pepsi emojis that have been seen throughout the year, but it is Pepsi’s unique marketing campaign that will give the shop legs.

“Pepsi has taken advantage of the emoji craze to keep the brand front of mind with mobile consumers throughout the holiday season,” said Jonathan Portny, senior manager at BRP. “For a company traditionally bound by the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, the PepsiMoji Holiday Pop Up Shop enables Pepsi to interact with a different market of online shoppers looking for fun and convenient stocking stuffers.

“The Pop Up Shop is a no-frills e-commerce site solely focused on selling their nearly two dozen PepsiMoji-themed holiday products,” he said. “Pepsi’s #SayItWithPepsi campaign and PepsiMojis entice consumers to download the company’s Pepsi Pass mobile app by offering rewards for scanning Pepsi emojis on soda bottles.

“Unique, rarer soda bottle emojis are worth more points and points are redeemable for impressive rewards like concert tickets or travel getaways,” he said. “Pepsi uses gamification to engage and reward consumers looking for something more than the traditional in-store grocery shopping experience.”

READ FULL ARTICLE: Pepsi takes notes from fashion brands with holiday pop-up

Victoria’s Secret use of Snapchat modernizes its traditional freebie coupons

Mobile Commerce Daily – Victoria’s Secret is influencing its millennial demographic to come into its bricks-and-mortar stores through a special Snapchat freebie, in an adapted version of its iconic coupons.

Snapchat’s experience still has a cool factor for its users, allowing brands to share fun and interesting call-to-actions that require consumers to directly participate. Victoria’s Secret is rewarding users who screen shot its Snapchat coupon with a giveaway.

“Consumers are most apt to participate in campaigns where opting in is virtually effortless, particularly when a true benefit is offered,” said Laura Sossong, manager at BRP. “For this reason, screen shot technology is certainly an innovative sector to explore. Victoria’s Secret stands to benefit, as they can gauge relevance and traction of screenshot based promotions to impact future initiative planning.”

Read full article: Victoria’s Secret use of Snapchat modernizes its traditional freebie coupons

Facebook Pages converts into purchasing platform, but further threatens big business

Mobile Commerce Daily – Facebook is announcing a host of new ways for consumers to interact with brands and businesses through the Facebook mobile application, some of which will be a considerable boost to small businesses without a large digital marketing budget.

The main features include new ways for customers to order, purchase or research purchases from a business directly through the Facebook app. For businesses of all sizes, the ubiquitous popularity of Facebook means that these new features will make interactions between brands and consumers on both ends a bit simpler.

“Facebook has become a pervasive part of many consumers’ lives. According to a recent study, more that 50 percent of U.S. adults are on Facebook at least once a month,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at BRP. “Since most consumers are familiar with Facebook and many are using it on a daily basis, making retail services and products available without leaving Facebook is an added convenience.

“For businesses, Facebook represents an easy way to promote new services to their followers right on Facebook. When companies promote these offerings via other marketing mediums, they can channel people to their company Facebook page which will inspire more consumers to ‘like’ their company page.”

Read full article: Facebook Pages converts into purchasing platform, but further threatens big business

Brands Must Be Loyal to Loyalty Members

CRM Magazine – When it comes to customer loyalty, companies often expect a lot from their most valued customers: Enrolling in loyalty programs takes effort, and then once they are enrolled, members are expected to remember PINs, passwords, account numbers, and other information or to carry around special cards or keychain tags.

Despite the hoops that customers must jump through to participate, these loyalty programs appear to be paying off for retailers, as recent research from Boston Retail Partners (BRP) found that 62 percent of retailers increased their budgets to enhance their loyalty programs in 2015. Much of the added funding went toward evolving loyalty programs to satisfy tech-savvy consumers with mobile offerings and unified commerce experiences.

Modern loyalty programs need to go past traditional earn-points-and-receive-rewards structures, according to Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. He recommends adding exclusive perks, relevant incentives, and personalized rewards as a way to further reward loyal customers.

“It’s all about engagement,” Brunk says. “Successful loyalty programs focus on immersive customer engagement and meaningful rewards that are sticky.

“Personalized offers based on personal preferences and past purchases are more meaningful as rewards and encourage participation in the loyalty program,” he adds.

Read Full Article: Brands Must Be Loyal to Loyalty Members

Lay’s unpacks new fan-favorite flavors with hourly text-to-win contest

Mobile Marketer – Frito-Lay has its sights set on commanding as much of the mobile space as possible with the re-release of three fan-favorite flavors, enabling consumers to earn hourly rewards by texting a code found on packaging to a designated number.

The snack food giant’s new flavors, Smoked Gouda & Chive, Chicken & Waffles and Wavy Truffle Fries, are being reintroduced to the Lay’s lineup due to popular demand. The flavors will be re-released on October 3, and the rollout is being anchored on mobile through contests, social media outreach and an official reveal event hosted by actor Josh Peck.

“Social media is a great way for brands to magnify the awareness and create a viral buzz for a campaign,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners.

“Beyond regular posts on social media, savvy brands are using interactive games, voting and contests to engage its passionate brand enthusiasts to ‘share’ and ‘like,’ which spurs further engagement among their network of friends.”

Read Full Article: Lay’s unpacks new fan-favorite flavors with hourly text-to-win contest

Macy’s and DreamWorks focus multifaceted Trolls campaign around mobile hub

Mobile Marketer – Macy’s, in partnership with DreamWorks, is centering its branded campaign for the new animated film Trolls around a mobile hub, showcasing mobile’s central place in omnichannel marketing.

The partnership will see a large variety of marketing efforts on Macy’s part, from branded Trolls products in-store, all the way up to a Trolls-themed float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The marketing campaign will be multifaceted, with efforts being pushed on social media, print, digital, in-store and out-of-home.

“Unifying the Trolls campaign across all channels, mobile, digital, social and physical is essential to reaching the largest audience to create Troll mania,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “While there is a small risk that some consumers will get tired of the pervasive Troll messaging from Macy’s, there is more up-side than down-side to this approach.”

Read Full Article: Macy’s and DreamWorks focus multifaceted Trolls campaign around mobile hub

Tech Bytes: Note to retailers: Time to make the shift to unified commerce

Chain Store Age – It happens all the time. A customer goes on a shopping spree, gets home and checks email — only to find a valuable promotion for a store she just left. In an era when time-starved customers are more digitally-savvy than ever before, retailers need to step up and manage a brand in total versus managing separate channels, if they want to maintain loyalty.

Shoppers expect a complete brand experience, not disjointed channel visits. They need to be able to channel hop and see the exact same thing. As brands strive for a holistic customer experience, they need a centralized, real-time platform that merges all customer engagement points, including point-of-sale (POS), mobile, e-commerce, call centers and clienteling solutions, to stay abreast of all customer interactions throughout the path-to-purchase. Enter the unified commerce business model.

While it remains an evolving concept, there is early movement. Currently, 18% of retailers have a unified commerce/single commerce platform, according to “Unified Commerce is the Goal, ‘Faux Omnichannel Retail is the Reality!,” a new report from Boston Retail Partners. However, two-thirds of these companies indicated that their efforts “need improvement.” And no company is immune to the growing pains.

Read full article:Tech Bytes: Note to retailers: Time to make the shift to unified commerce