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1800Flowers’ mobile retargeting efforts bloom with fingerprinting

March 7, 2014

SAN ANTONIO, TX — A 1800Flowers executive at eTail West 2014 indicated that initial tests around mobile fingerprinting were successful to the extent that the brand may have underinvested in the technology.

Executives from 1800Flowers, Williams-Sonoma and Alex and Ani were included on the “Connecting the Data ‘Dots’ in a Multichannel World” session about how the brands attribute and track information about shoppers. 1800Flowers tested mobile fingerprinting last year, but now the brand’s investments suggest that its investments in the tactic are growing and getting more aggressive in targeting cross-channel shoppers.

“We use that in display with a DSP trying to track so that if we were going to go prospecting in mobile, and then try to get back out to an ROI on that and feeling that because of ‘fat finger’ or whatever, it might convert in some other channel,” said Neil McKenna, director of online marketing at 1800Flowers, Carle Place, NY.

“We definitely saw some evidence of that,” he said. “We definitely would have allocated more money to there after doing these initial, directional result tests but feeling like it was the right thing. There was enough there to fund it.”

Digital blooming
1800Flowers works with a technology that leverages digital fingerprinting to track activity across devices on 200 different HTTP headers.

With more consumers browsing but not necessarily shopping on mobile, the goal is to turn the growing mobile traffic into a sale later when the consumer has more time to buy at a desktop.

Mr. McKenna said that the next big push for mobile and Web retargeting is around social.

Both Facebook and Twitter are able to marry up Web analytics and attribution so that marketers can understand the worth of each marketing tactic.

“The smart people will probably wind up repurposing some of these social analytics for that purpose,” Mr. McKenna said.

Saving waste
Figuring out ways to leverage digital to cut out marketing waste was another issue brought up during the session by Ryan Bonifacino, vice president of digital strategy at Alex and Ani, New York.

For example, the brand started using ereceipts in its stores as an alternative to a print version to better align with the brand’s ecofriendly products and mission.

Erecipts resulted in a 90 percent email capture rate, and most of the consumers opted-in to Alex and Ani’s email program.

“If you’re a brand that’s invested a ton of money into traditional dollars [and] marketing — print, radio, TV, sponsorship, events, things like that — and we have that unit as our traditional marketing crew that primarily exists for bricks-and-mortar retail efforts,” Mr. Bonifacino said.

“Now when you get complex with modeling the effectiveness of traditional media, you’re able to very quickly identify waste, so the question is, ‘what do you do with the waste?’” he said.

“So things like rolling in digital make a lot of sense. Rolling the waste from TV into pre-roll video is a fantastic story that’s happening now.”

Attribution challenges
According to Mohan Namboodiri, vice president of customer analytics at Williams-Sonoma, San Francisco, attribution has been an ongoing initiative for the company over the past five to six years.

The challenge primarily stems from taking the catalog-heavy retailer digital.

As opposed to other retailers, Williams-Sonoma is split equally between ecommerce and retail.

For the retail-only customer, the brand does not have a lot of insight into how the consumer shops online. This type of consumer has not shopped online and does not respond to email.

“The shift from catalog to ecommerce investment has been an ongoing process,” Mr. Namboodiri said.

“If you’ve been a Williams-Sonoma customer for 20 years, and it so happens that you go to that retail location every two weeks, to what degree can any of the marketing channels take credit for that?” he said.

“There is a component that is customer-driven. The marketing has worked. You’ve embedded that thing inside them and they want it. So the email didn’t really matter.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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