Sephora uncaps color-correcting product sales via interactive mobile quiz

Mobile Commerce Daily – Sephora is leveraging sponsored content on Facebook to promote its Color Correcting Crash Course, which lets consumers discover their best-suited colors for combating undereye circles before inviting them to shop these items on the retailer’s mobile site.

Facebook users may spot one of Sephora’s ads interspersed with friends’ content in their newsfeeds, asking them to click the accompanying link to find out where they rank on the scale of color-correcting product expertise. The interactive quiz, each section of which takes under a minute to complete, includes a YouTube tutorial and call-to-action to purchase color-correcting beauty items once consumers finish.

“Engaging customers in interactive quizzes, games or contests is a great way to create a stronger bond with the brand,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “Linking Sephora’s color correction quiz to YouTube tutorials is a smart way to educate consumers and strengthen the brand’s relationship with the consumer while increasing sales.

“As consumers get excited about color-correcting products, it helps foster brand enthusiasm, creates an ego boost that increases self-esteem and may inspire them to shop and ‘buy now’ on the mobile site.”

Read full article: Sephora uncaps color-correcting product sales via interactive mobile quiz

How Pandora maximized branding via Snapchat, Twitter cohesion

Mobile Marketer – Jewelry retailer Pandora saw an ideal opportunity to raise the branding stakes during Britain’s Mother’s Day holiday this past weekend by unrolling a cohesive social media campaign that included sponsored Snapchat geofilters and a Twitter contest.

The accessories chain sought to increase brand awareness leading up to and during Mother’s Day weekend, a time during which many consumers were hunting for the perfect piece of jewelry to gift to their mothers. Pandora opted to use a multi-platform approach for this holiday sales push, leaning on sponsored geofilters and a Twitter selfie sweepstakes to keep the brand at the forefront of shoppers’ minds.

“Pandora’s multi-platform social media play is a clever approach to help grow its user and fan base for both Twitter and Snapchat,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “Contests are a great way to engage consumers with the brand and create awareness and interest for Pandora’s products.

“Gamification is a technique leveraged in a non-gaming context to engage the customer to become one with the brand and this is a great example of how to do it well.”

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Express drops clues for two-way conversation pitching new brand ambassador

Mobile Marketer – Express is drumming up excitement for its newest celebrity brand ambassador by dispersing clues, in the form of short clips and photos, on its Snapchat and Instagram accounts, inviting fans to guess the mystery man’s identity.

Express is once again leveraging its social media channels as a way of promoting two-way conversations with its customers. This time, the retailer is preparing to add another brand ambassador to its lineup and is foreshadowing the reveal by posting Q&A’s and blurred images of the newcomer on Instagram and Snapchat to boost anticipation.

“The use of popular social media platforms in non-traditional, imaginative ways continues to garner retailer interest based on its intrinsic affordability and high exposure,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “As a low-risk proposition with significant upside and consumer appeal, Express is certainly tapped into the large potential offered by next-generation marketing.”

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Victoria’s Secret bedazzles Snapchat strategy with personalized panty kit giveaway

Mobile Marketer – Victoria’s Secret is enticing Valentine’s Day enthusiasts with a doodle contest for its Snapchat followers, offering a chance to win one of its personalized panty kits in time for the retail-oriented holiday.

The lingerie giant is ramping up fans’ excitement for Valentine’s Day later this month by featuring some of its popular panties – alongside the personalized panty kit – in the Snapchat-enabled giveaway. Victoria’s Secret is steadily building up a reputation of introducing themed contests for Snapchat followers, a strategy that other retailers may want to embrace for their own mobile marketing tactics.

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“As a retailer, engaging your target market in ongoing dialogue around products is a brilliant mechanism to further brand affinity,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “Marketing campaigns are especially compelling when they precede an event that is largely relevant to your consumer base, like Valentine’s Day is to women who shop for Victoria’s Secret merchandise.”

Read full article: Victoria’s Secret bedazzles Snapchat strategy with personalized panty kit giveaway

Beacon Technology for Retail Programs: Tailoring Messages at Store Level

Samsung Blog – Personalization is the key to driving loyalty, yet retailers still struggle to make a one-on-one connection with their most valuable store-level shoppers. The addition of beacon technology for retail programs is changing this paradigm by driving a new level of customer engagement through personalization — a move that creates a valuable loyalty proposition in an omnichannel retail model.

As retailers decipher how to connect with shoppers while they’re making purchase decisions, more are eager to harness the power of consumer smartphones. Within five years, 53 percent of retailers plan to begin identifying customers via smartphones when they walk into the store — this is a significant jump from the six percent of companies currently utilizing this technology, as discussed in a session conducted by Boston Retail Partners at’s 2015 Digital Summit in Philadelphia.

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Top Tech for 2016

Convenience Store and Fuel News – The technology path leading into 2016 has never been more obvious. EMV deadlines, mobile, loyalty and everything swirling around those core goals have topped the industry’s to-do lists of late, as evident at recent user conferences, tech forums and last fall’s NACS Show.

What is less obvious—yet crucial as retailers begin choosing and executing new projects—are some of the essential purposes behind apps, beacons and other tools, as well as the potential to overlook key steps toward success. Such insights and hurdles came about in preparing this look forward to the top c-store technology trends for 2016.

Because January also marks the one-year anniversary for CSP Tech, a look back at last year’s projections seemed a perfect way to start 2016. (See 2015’s priorities below.) Though the themes remained the same, the rankings changed—mostly due to logistics. Retailers simply had to complete one before taking on the other.

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In-Store Beacons: Where Cool Outweighs Creepy

Content Plus – By now, all the big retailers were supposed to know exactly when we stepped into their stores. It was all about the beacons.

The small electronic devices, installed above shoe departments and cereal aisles, would detect the smartphones in our pockets.

The gadgets would talk. All opt-in, of course. And as we moved through the aisles—whether in search of K-Cups, K-Swiss, or the latest from Kanye—the beacons would do magic. We would get coupons and other personalized value in exchange for details about how we shop.

That’s how it was supposed to be after Apple’s 2013 mobile software update, which boosted the location ID technology in its devices.

Yet research last year from Boston Retail Partners found only 6 percent of retailers currently use beacons in their stores. The uptake has been slow, but it’s poised to pick up. The consultancy also found 43 percent of retailers plan to use beacons within five years.

The question is how can retailers make beacons something useful for consumers, rather than just plain creepy, says Boston Retail Partners vice president Greg Sokolowski.

Read full article: In-Store Beacons: Where Cool Outweighs Creepy

How to Create Mobile Apps for Real-time Retail

CDW – Effective applications can reshape retail, but only if they’re backed by a coherent mobile strategy. Retailers have been offering mobile apps to their customers for years, but that relationship is undergoing a revolution. The latest apps are driving fundamental changes in consumer behavior, creating what some industry analysts are calling real-time retail.

“Real-time retail is the ability to bring the Amazon experience to brick-and-mortar stores,” says Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners, a management consulting firm. “This includes knowing what’s in the closets, lockers and garages of the customers who are standing at the checkout counter.”

Read Full Article: How to Create Mobile Apps for Real-time Retail

Anthropologie wraps up gift registry sales via iPhone app update

Mobile Commerce Daily – Lifestyle retailer Anthropologie is wrapping up mobile sales by rolling out a slew of new iPhone application features, including the ability to access order history and send registry messages to share favorited items with friends.

The brand is kicking off 2016 with an increased focus on mobile strategy as it attempts to reach on-the-go millennials on one of their most-frequented channels. Anthropologie is well-poised to drive more sales with the new iPhone app features, particularly among consumers setting up wedding or gift registries.

“With so many mobile apps available and competing for precious screen space on consumers’ smartphones, retailers need to continue adding new features to their apps to keep them relevant and valuable to their customers,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Consumers are reaching app fatigue and if an app doesn’t provide real value and they don’t use it often, it will be deleted from their phone.”

Read full article: Anthropologie wraps up gift registry sales via iPhone app update’s mobile strategy results in 5M app users

Mobile Commerce Daily – recently exceeded five million users on its retail application, with 76 percent categorized as loyal customers, reflecting consumers’ interest in mobile deals and discounts.

The digital retailer has been making adjustments to its mobile app throughout the past year, streamlining its capabilities to meet consumer needs, a strategy proving to work.’s bevvy of discounted prices, paired with its substantial number of users reveals the high consumer demand for mobile deals through apps and other platforms.

“ has continued to add more features and make their mobile app very user-friendly and these investments are paying off,” said David Naumann, director of marketing, Boston Retail Partners. “With gamification that rewards customers with surprise discounts and flash sales that inspire impulse purchases, keeps customers coming back to its mobile app. The key to mobile apps is customer engagement and keeping your app active on mobile phones.”

Read full article:’s mobile strategy results in 5M app users