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Body Shop drives in-store traffic via mobile offers

June 25, 2012

Offers are delivered from a user's bank

The Body Shop is pushing special offers out to consumers on their mobile devices as a way to drive them into stores to make a purchase.

The notifications are delivered via text message or email, depending on a consumer’s preference, and come from a recipient’s bank. The mobile notification of offers is important to Body Shop because it drives in-store opportunities.

“Our email program is accessed at a rate of 30 or 35 percent over a handheld device and we know it’s relevant – and in a lot of ways we’d prefer they receive a lot of marketing messages that way because they are out and about and in a region they can get to a store,” said Emery Skolfield, senior director of ecommerce for The Body Shop for the Americas, Raleigh, NC.

“It is very relevant to serving offers in the mobile space that can ultimately spur action or change a behavior or create a behavior,” he said.

“Card-linked offers are a new way to reach an audience in a targeted way.”

Closing the loop
The offers consist of a dollar or percent off amount that is credited back to the customer’s bank or credit card after making a qualifying purchase. They are delivered via the Edo platform.

In the United States, The Body Shop is focused on building awareness of the brand and growing its customer base. The brand does not traditionally advertise, so the card-linked offers are a way to target offers based on whether the recipient is a new or existing customers.

The offers are redeemable both in store and online.

Card-linked offers help marketers close the loop on mobile advertising and in-store sales.

“We’ve seen a larger share of transactions happen in store,” Mr. Skolfield said. “Mobile in this particular case and mobile marketing in general is probably right now a larger driving-to-store opportunity. That is the way we are thinking about it – serving consumers relevant offers when they are out and about and can more easily respond, react and redeem.

The program has been running for a couple of months and The Body Shop sees the potential audience it can reach growing every week as more banks sign onto the Edo platform.

Easy does it
Edo works with large bank partners such as Ally Bank to deliver offers to their cardholders. The platform enables marketers to target to bank customers based on their spending behavior, for example, if a customer has made a purchase with a merchant in the past six months.

Retailers can then deliver an offer and track if it drive the recipient to make a purchase.

On the advertising side, Edo is working with large retailers such as Home Depot, Whole Foods, Quizno’s, Starbucks and others to deliver offers.

Customers who receive a notification of an offer and then use their credit card or bank card to make a qualifying purchase from the merchant will have the money automatically credited back to their credit card or debit card account. Users also receive a notification that they have saved money.

Customers choose how they want to receive notifications of the offers, either via email or text message. The offers are updated weekly.

“There is so much clutter out there from daily deals to coupons that is not necessarily easy for the consumer, merchants and advertisers,” said Jeff Fagel, vice president of marketing and brand development at Edo, Nashville, TN.

“We are building a new advertising channel that is a combination of where payments and advertising meet,” he said. “One of our main differentiators to advertisers is that they are able to connect online advertising with in-store retail.”

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

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