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Bluefly unzips sales via revamped mobile checkout, shoppable Instagram feed

Mobile Commerce Daily – Online fashion retailer Bluefly is reigniting its mobile sales efforts with revamped Android and iOS applications that enable users to scan credit cards during checkout and purchase items featured in a curated Instagram feed within the app.

The fashion destination is continuing to optimize its mobile shopping experience by minimizing the amount of time required to complete a purchase and implementing more social media inspiration into its apps. Bluefly’s customers can now seamlessly make purchases by scanning their credit cards with their smartphone cameras instead of manually entering in the digits and take advantage of a shoppable Instagram feed that promotes the discovery of new products in a native setting.

“Any opportunity to streamline the checkout process is a benefit to the retailer,” said Robert Cuthbertson, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. “By leveraging the phone’s camera to scan and sync credit card information, the customer doesn’t need to fumble around on a smartphone keyboard or look hard to read numbers on his or her credit card.

“As a result, the checkout process is more accurate, faster and easier – and this makes customers happy.”

Read full article: Bluefly unzips sales via revamped mobile checkout, shoppable Instagram feed

Uber launches ad campaign to capitalize on Timehop's growth

Mobile Marketer – Ride-sharing service Uber is cornering its key demographic, millennials, with an ad campaign on photo-management application Timehop, joining brands such as CVS and Broadway show Act of God that have also recently appeared on the growing app.

Timehop is a mobile app that links to users’ other social media accounts and provides a comprehensive look at what they posted on a particular date in years past, but has just recently gone ad supported. Uber is taking advantage of the recent opening to brands in an advertising campaign that directs potential drivers directly to its signup page to see if individuals can qualify.

“Providing direct links in the Timehop app make is convenient for people to be spontaneous which may drive more Uber signups, but not a lot,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “While the direct link makes it convenient, the challenge is will it appeal to enough people who are a good fit for Uber.

“The prime demographic for Timehop is young females and that is not the best fit for demographics of Uber drivers, who are predominately male and over 30 years old.”

“With more than 12 million users, as of January 2016, Timehop is one of the fastest growing social mobile apps,” Mr. Naumann said. “However, that pales in comparison to Facebook’s 155 million On This Day app, which is a direct competitor to Timehop.
“If the Uber campaign is a success, it will help attract more ads from other companies and spur continued growth of the Timehop app and help it compete more effectively with Facebook,” he said.

Read full article: Uber launches ad campaign to capitalize on Timehop’s growth

Maybelline uncaps Facebook engagement via full-screen ads featuring eyeliner tutorials

Mobile Marketer – Maybelline is targeting Facebook users likely to be interested in its cosmetics via a series of ads that expand into a full-screen experience showcasing tutorials for different eyeliner looks after clicking. 

L’Oréal’s millennial-favorite cosmetics brand is attempting to fuel more interest in its new eyeliner products by rolling out full-screen ad experiences that enable consumers to learn how to create various makeup looks, including graphic arrow, winged eyeliner and cat eye looks. Once a user taps on the Facebook ad’s “Learn More” button, the ad will expand to the smartphone screen and allow individuals to scroll through the step-by-step tutorials.

“Consumer education has proven itself to be a significant component in encouraging beauty-related purchases,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “By breaking down the barrier of the usability and applicability of makeup, Maybelline is eliminating the disincentive many consumers have to invest in new or unproven products.”

Read full article: Maybelline uncaps Facebook engagement via full-screen ads featuring eyeliner tutorials

Retailers should continue to test Snapchat, but at a small scale

Mobile Commerce Daily – As Snapchat is just now establishing itself as an integrated purchasing platform, consumers lack significant intent to purchase, but that does not mean retailers should not test the waters with small campaigns that include direct calls-to-action.

While campaigns that consist of user-generated content see the most success on Snapchat, as the platform flourished as a platform without advertising, call-to-action-enabled campaigns still have the opportunity to see positive results. Alternatively, retailers without a paid campaign can see a favorable outcome with organic content that entices users to complete an action such as sharing a coupon code or having users Snap their purchases for a prize.

“Savvy retailers are using Snapchat to engage their customers on a personal basis by offering special prizes, games or discounts to customers that Snap selfies that demonstrate their branded products,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “In contrast to this customer-curated content approach, unsuccessful Snapchat campaigns are broadcasted Snapchat images published by the brand.

“When brands publish content, it is perceived as advertising and when consumers publish content, it is perceived as more genuine, interesting and fun,” he said. “The value of Snapchat as a marketing tool depends on the type of products retailers sell.

“Products that are visually appealing or have a wide range of uses are good candidates for Snapchat campaigns. Since millennials represent 70 percent of Snapchat users, products that appeal to this demographic are also good candidates for Snapchat campaigns.”

Read full article: Retailers should continue to test Snapchat, but at a small scale

Gap unzips summer sales with mobile passport for earning badges, winning prizes

Mobile Commerce Daily – Gap is tightening the seams on sales this summer with a 100-day-long sweepstakes encouraging customers to complete daily selfie challenges to earn badges using a mobile-optimized passport feature and potentially win prizes.

Gap’s Passport to Summer sweepstakes asks consumers to sign into the designated microsite via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or Instagram to receive access to daily challenges, which include tasks such as posting a photo of a favorite frozen yogurt combination. The summer-long contest offers players an incentive to check for new content each day and also provides easy access to discount codes, a feature that will likely ramp up sales for Gap as consumers begin stocking up on warm-weather apparel and accessories.

“Most consumers will probably be more interested in the 40 percent-off coupon code than the chance to win a sweepstakes prize, because the discount is a sure thing,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners.

“However, there is a segment of consumers that will enjoy the thrill of seeing how many entries they can get by participating in all of the selfie opportunities,” he said. “The selfies are fun and it gets consumers to continue to interact with the brand on a daily basis to see what the theme of the day will be.”

Read Full Article: Gap unzips summer sales with mobile passport for earning badges, winning prizes

Are social media buy buttons on the way out?

Mobile Commerce Daily – Twitter’s plans to scale back its buy button alludes to a stalemate for retail on social media as consumers fail to adopt native shopping experiences, although Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest could still prevail.

While Twitter is trying to establish itself more as a image-enabled social media platform, its consumer behavior is rooted heavily in text-based posts where direct purchasing ability is less likely to flourish. Other social platforms with heavier focuses on images may be more successful with buy buttons, but dynamic product ads offer the most potential when it comes to retail-enabled social pushes.

“Twitter’s recent decision to scale back the buy button seems indicative of a larger struggle that social sites are facing generating traction for social commerce,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “Though social media has made tremendous gains in popularity, finding new ways to generate revenue and monetize on offerings has been a taxing trial and error process for all companies.”

“From a user experience perspective, the real-time, feed-based Twitter platform lacks the natural look and feel of a traditional commerce platform,” she said. “Shoppers lack of comfort with buy buttons and their concern about data security has contributed to their hesitation in adopting this technology.

“Social commerce platforms must strike a balance between providing ease of purchasing while at the same time preserving the aesthetic and security elements of traditional e-commerce sites. Until then, use of dynamic product advertising will likely offer more investment potential for social sites.”

Read full article: Are social media buy buttons on the way out?

Alex and Ani unclasps omnichannel Mother’s Day push on Instagram

Mobile Commerce Daily – Alex and Ani is continuing its omnichannel shopping strategy with ads on Facebook and Instagram promoting an in-store gift-with-purchase offer and featuring a Mother’s Day-themed video and a button that clicks through to a store locator for convenience.

The jewelry retailer is attempting to capitalize on Mother’s Day sales by enabling shoppers to receive a complimentary charm with each purchase of a necklace, giving them ample gift ideas prior to the holiday this weekend. Introducing sales promotions to coincide with major holidays is a smart move for accessories brands, as consumers on the prowl for the ideal present will be more receptive to social media ads and purchase incentives.

“Tying campaigns to a holiday, like Mother’s Day, gives consumers another reason to shop and makes it easier to select the right gift for the holiday,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Shoppers sometimes find it hard to find the right gift for their mothers and when there is a special gift with purchase, it makes the decision more attractive.”

Read Full Article: Alex and Ani unclasps omnichannel Mother’s Day push on Instagram

Eileen Fisher plants discount in mobile-optimized Earth Day style quiz

Mobile Commerce Daily – Eileen Fisher is digging up sales this weekend by rolling out an Earth Day-inspired style quiz via Instagram, enabling consumers to answer several questions to receive a discount toward a future purchase and a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

The apparel brand is sponsoring posts on Instagram and encouraging its current followers to click the link in its bio to take the mobile-optimized quiz, which asks users to answer five questions to discover what type of environmentally-conscious clothing best suits their style. Participants will receive a limited-time promotional code accompanying their results, allowing them to receive $25 off a purchase made at an Eileen Fisher store or online.

“Tying marketing campaigns to a national holiday, such as Earth Day, adds relevancy and timeliness to the campaign, which may spur greater participation,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Consumers are bombarded with information overload and anything that helps a marketing campaign cut through the clutter is a good thing.

“The Earth Day holiday is a perfect fit for Eileen Fisher’s social consciousness and mission to embrace simplicity, sustainability and great design.”

Read Full Article: Eileen Fisher plants discount in mobile-optimized Earth Day style quiz

Loft unzips shoppable looks, social media guide via canine-supported partnership

Mobile Commerce Daily – Ann Inc.’s Loft is continuing its celebrity-supported sales blitz through a collaboration with Instagram star Chloe the Mini Frenchie, enabling fans to watch a mobile video featuring the four-legged star, shop ideal looks for pet-related events and access tips for achieving social media stardom.

The retailer is teaming up with the popular canine and her owner, Loni, in a bid to target animal lovers and promote its apparel pieces for pet-related events, such as dog birthday parties. Loft is bringing the furry friend-centric campaign one step further, however, by showcasing Loni’s guide to making a pet become a social media star, highlighting various mobile-first techniques that digitally-savvy consumers can leverage.

“It is a brilliant idea to tie shoppable outifts to styles that Chloe and Loni like,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “When shoppers have a warm feeling associated with the styles endorsed by Chloe, they are more likely to make impulse purchases on their mobile devices.”

Read Full Article: Loft unzips shoppable looks, social media guide via canine-supported partnership

SCORE: Will social media play a legitimate role for small businesses?

Post-Bulletin – Many small business CEOs ask about the likelihood that social media will play a major part of the marketing efforts for companies. Some are even hoping that it is “just a flash in the pan” because it takes time and certain skills to make it happen in an effective way.

The data I read and the folks I listen to tell me eight in 10 retail execs have or plan to integrate Facebook data into their customer relationship management. Social engagement with retail brands, particularly on Facebook, is high. According to recent research, retailers are looking to leverage such interactions to gather information and improve the customer experience.

Among retail executives in North America polled by Boston Retail Partners in April last year, 31 percent had integrated their customer relationship management system with Facebook, and an additional 49 percent intended to do so within two years. Nearly seven in 10 respondents had integrated Twitter into their CRM or planned to do so within two years, and similar percentages said the same about Pinterest and Instagram.

Read full article: SCORE: Will social media play a legitimate role for small businesses?