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Bloomingdale’s amps up mcommerce game via multichannel initiative

February 24, 2012

Bloomingdale’s is proving that mobile plays an integral role in the company’s overall strategy via a new catalog that not only promotes its recently launched iPad application, but also includes QR codes and SMS calls to action throughout.

The company has placed mobile bar codes on almost every page of its women’s and men’s catalog, which let consumers learn more about the looks featured. Additionally, underneath each QR code, there is an SMS call to action.

“QR codes are fabulous at bringing life to static media,” said Laura Marriot, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, New York.

“By placing QR codes throughout the catalog, Bloomingdale’s is giving the opportunity for the consumer to interact with the retailer directly at time of desire,” she said.

“Whether that interaction is to access greater information about the product, a coupon or to complete the purchase, Bloomingdale’s is helping create a dialogue with their consumer, which in return, helps to build affinity and brand loyalty.”

Ms. Marriott is not affiliated with Bloomingdale’s. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Bloomingdale’s did not respond to press inquiries.

Bloomingdale’s is the upscale department store chain that is part of Macy’s Inc.

All about mobile
Recently, Bloomingdale’s sent out its new catalogs – one specifically for women and one for men.

The women’s catalog, The Stylist, informs consumers that they should watch out for mobile bar codes and encourages users to download the Scanlife application.

Additionally, the company is promoting its iPad app throughout the catalog and informs consumers that they can shop each of the looks featured via their tablet device.

There are a total of 14 QR codes featured in the women’s catalog and a total of 6 mobile bar codes featured in the men’s catalog, The Essentialist.

Next to almost every designer look there is a mobile bar code.

For example, on page 4 of the women’s catalog, there is a Marc by Marc Jacobs look with a QR code next to it.

Consumers are encouraged to scan the mobile bar code to see colorblocking tips and tricks. Those that do not want to scan the QR code can text the keyword COLOR to the short code 51515.

In addition, consumers can shop the Marc by Marc Jacobs look via the Bloomingdale’s iPad app.

Similar to the women’s catalog, the men’s one also includes mobile bar codes, SMS calls to action and promotes the company’s new iPad app.

IPad shopping
The Bloomingdale’s iCatalog iPad app lets users view pages and spreads, tap on the items they are interested in buying and browse additional information about a certain product.

Consumers can also share their favorite products with friends and family through email or social network such as Facebook and Twitter.

The app lets consumers view multiple colors on select products with SwatchMatch and enjo slideshows with PhotoSession.

The company’s new catalog initiative is a great way to offers consumers different mediums to shop.

Mobile bar codes are growing at a rapid speed, but SMS and mobile applications are also an effective method to boast user engagement.

Offering consumers all three is a sure-fire way to engage them and further build that business and consumer relationship.

“And for the consumer, what a great experience to quickly, by scanning the QR code, access the product of desire,” Ms. Marriott said.

“No long URLs to remember, no waiting till they get home, no call center IVRs to wade through, simple, instant and easy access to the mobile Web or application experience,” she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York


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

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