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Best Buy makes weekly circular more interactive with mobile marketing

May 27, 2010

bestbuy1Electronics retail giant Best Buy has made its weekly circular interactive by incorporating mobile calls-to-action into some of the pages.

The mobile elements that are added into the pages, including 2D bar codes and SMS calls-t0-action, are meant to give consumers further engagement – the kind they cannot possibly get by looking at a static circular. Mobile gives legs to print advertising, making it work harder for the advertiser.

“We’re enabling interactivity and capsulating our reader into our broader app,” said Doug Thompson, cofounder/CEO of Launch Media, Plymouth, MN. “When a consumer is in-store, they call up the reader, utilize our technology to scan the bar code and get the content.

“The system recognizes what phone you have,” he said. “Windows Mobile and BlackBerry, however, push direct to download.”

Best Buy is a specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the United States accounting for about 20 percent of the market.

Launch Media delivers integrated mobile marketing strategies and services. It helped Best Buy make its circular more interactive.

Consumers browsing the circular are given the opportunity to view the new Super Mario Galaxy 2 game.

The ad for the game in the circular features an embedded QR code with an invisible watermark and any smartphone device can access the code and view the trailer.

Here is a screen grab of the ad with the QR code:


There is a call-to-action on the front page encouraging consumers to text the keyword BBYAPP to the short code 332211 to download the QR code reader application.

Once the application is downloaded, users can launch the reader and hold their smartphone over the special code to watch the trailer.

Ads on a different page of the circular encourage consumers to text-in for a Best Buy location closest to them. Users are encouraged to text their ZIP code to the short code 332211.

Here is a screen grab of the ad encouraging consumers to text-in:


This is not Best Buy’s first foray into mobile.

Best Buy has an iPhone and iPod touch application, letting consumers browse weekly deals and search the retailer’s entire inventory.

In addition, users can see reviews, view and enlarge the product views, fill and manage their favorites and shopping cart, view exclusive content and deals.

There is also an IdeaGift feature that lets consumers discover gift ideas during the holidays.

Consumers can click-to-buy any product via their handset.

In February, Best Buy was ranked No. 1 in mobile homepage performance, beating out Sears and Barnes & Noble (see story).

This latest initiative is an example of the way which Best Buy is using mobile to future engage consumers.

“Our codes provide a more open structure so any reader would be able to read this,” Mr. Thompson said. “The mobile marketing platform is tailored to a large enterprise retail engagement.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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