BrainTrust Query: In-Store Text Messaging – A Real Life Story
By Mark Price,
Managing Partner, M Squared Group
word ‘tent’ to 55657,” the PA system said, “and you will receive 20 percent
off one item, on your shopping trip right now.” Now, I didn’t hear the
message at all. I have learned to tune those things out over time;
just background noise. But “the brains of the outfit,” my wife, heard
the announcement and called it to my attention.
At that time,
we were agonizing over a pair of skis for my wife at a tent sale at Hoigaard’s,
a local ski specialty store that has earned our loyalty through great
customer service over the years. The skis were a bit too expensive, and
we were trying to figure out whether or not to splurge. Guess what happened
when we heard that announcement? We had those skis to the checkout register
in less than three minutes. The 20 percent off on the spot did the trick.
might question the incrementality of the on-site 20 percent offer. But
let me point out two factors that make such a strategy successful: (1)
the sale was in its final day, in the final two hours, and (2) our purchase
was basically incremental – the discount pushed us over the edge in
the decision process. Timing was everything.
I think that
this example shows the ability of mobile marketing to capitalize on opportunities
that are highly time-based. If this offer had come out several days prior,
the incrementality could be more in question, since consumers could have
taken it on previously planned purchases. But last-minute shoppers
(like us) are less likely to be making planned purchases and the timing
was also clearly directed at reducing excess sale inventory at the end
of a three-day event.
The one piece
that was missing from this mobile effort is any effort to capture my
name and customer identification. After all, we have been shopping at
Hoigaard’s for the past five years or more. Our purchase information
from today could have proven valuable for future offers and benefits.
Mobile messaging is challenged this way, but there are ways around this.
that the company’s text messages have accomplished several objectives:
to train consumers to respond to mobile promotions;
consumers to promotional messages from this store;
the company my wireless number, so they can in turn send future announcements
This was my
first direct experience with mobile marketing and it certainly opened
my eyes to new possibilities.
Questions: What has been your experiences with text-messaging promotions
in stores? What opportunities as well as challenges do you expect retailers
will face in attempting to exploit this technology?