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Bloomingdale’s Bluetooth-enabled mall campaign drives 75pc engagement rate

October 14, 2013

Bloomingdale's promoted its Loyalist program to mall shoppers

Mall retailers such as Bloomingdale’s and Vans are leveraging Bluetooth technology to deliver premium content and offers to shoppers with an eye toward driving in-store traffic.

Bloomingdale’s recently ran a campaign in two malls on the Mobiquity network with the goal of raising awareness for its Loyalist rewards program that enables shoppers to earn points for every dollar they spend. The campaign ran for four weeks, during which time 74,470 devices were prompted to download the content, 7.2 percent opted in and, of those, 75 percent engaged with the content.

“What our benefit is to the retailer is we can tap the consumer on the shoulder, identify the brand and send them the campaign,” said Michael Trepeta, co-CEO of Mobiquity Networks, Wellesley, MA.

“There is plenty of foot traffic in there, consumers who are absolutely not interested,” he said. “We are going to give away those impressions for free, but the ones that do have interest level, that’s where we are really having a positive effect.”

Mall shoppers
With Apple’s introduction of iBeacon and PayPal’s Beacon, there is renewed interest in leveraging Bluetooth technology for mobile marketing as the technology is already available within many smartphones and feature phones in consumers’ hands.

By leveraging Bluetooth inside a mall, retailers such as Bloomingdale’s are able to reach the numerous shoppers who visit malls every week on their mobile phones.

For the Bloomingdale’s campaign, shoppers were offered a high-definition video explaining the Loyalist program and how to participate.

Dollar General is targeting shoppers at malls nearby its stores

Bluetooth technology can also be used by retailers nearby a mall to attract traffic.

For example, Dollar General is running a campaign in markets that have a high concentration of Dollar General stores, such as Phoenix, Atlanta, Chicago, Fresno and Philadelphia.

By week four of the five week campaign, more than 60,000 devices had been offered the campaign, and there were 7,270 mobile downloads.

Shoppers who opt-in for this campaign can download special offers, content about Dollar General and a lookbook highlighting some of the items available in the store.

Premium content
The network runs off of units discretely placed in mall common areas. These units constantly scan for nearby mobile devices that have Bluetooth on.

Once a Bluetooth device has been identified, users are sent a prompt identifying a specific brand and campaign and asking if they would like to receive it.

Users who opt-in can then download the premium content.

Shoppers are prompted only once per mall visit.

Following a recently announced agreement with Simon Malls, the Mobiquity network is currently available in approximately 100 malls that see more than 120 million shopping visits per month.

One of the challenges with Bluetooth is that although the technology is available in most mobile phones today, it has to be turned on by users in order for networks such as Mobiquity’s to recognize them, something that many users have not done.

However, this could start to change following the introduction of iBeacon and AirDrop by Apple and Beacon by PayPal, which will increase awareness of Bluetooth and its capabilities.

“We were very excited to see Apple come out with Beacon and AirDrop,” Mr. Trepeta said. “Apple is going to really help us out big time with people’s trust levels with Bluetooth and sending content.

“We made a bet on Bluetooth six or seven years ago, but for a long time we were kind of the only one out there saying Bluetooth is the most prevalent form of short distance communications,” he said. “It is really there to transfer content to devices, and it is already in almost every device coming off the line.

“It is really cool that you can walk into our malls with a feature phone and turn on Bluetooth visibility, and you can interact with our network the same way as a smartphone.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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