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Cabela’s takes aim at mobile to improve shopping experience

July 8, 2011

The Recon Hunt app for iPhone

Multichannel outdoor gear retailer Cabela’s is moving beyond mobile messaging to create an end-to-end mobile strategy that delivers a better shopping experience.

Cabela’s is building an opt-in mobile database, developing apps and creating campaigns around mobile to drive awareness of the retailer’s 50th anniversary. The strategy will focus on engaging customers and driving in-store traffic.

“This is a multistage marketing and advertising roll out in mobile,” said Ryan Wuerch, CEO of Motricity, Bellevue, WA.

“It’s about driving consumers to stores, sweepstakes, coupons and delivering specific content,” he said.

“The goal is to have a very deep engagement with consumers through their mobile devices and deliver a higher value for their shopping experience.”

Apps in viewfinder
Cabela’s is a leading direct marketer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. It sends out numerous catalogs and has retail stores.

Outside of email, the retailer was not previously very active in mobile, per Mr. Wuerch.

Motricity is partnering with Cabela’s on this strategy.

The overall goals include being able to improve the overall customer experience with the brand, drive in-store business, increase overall customer awareness and build the brand.

The first step for Cabela’s will be to move its traditional email marketing campaigns into the mobile space with an opt-in program.

Cabela’s will be able to engage with current and prospective customers via the Motricity platform, which has the ability to reach over 200 million mobile users and the capability to deliver campaigns to a wide array of mobile devices and all operating systems in the marketplace.

The Motricity platform will help Cabela’s manage opt-in requests and understand what type of content customers would like to receive, when they want to receive it and across what devices.

Messages will be delivered either in SMS form or rich media.

The first campaign to come out of this partnership was launched this spring. It included an offer to download a new application called “Recon Hunt,” which is a navigation system that has features built specifically for hunters.

Cabela’s is able to track when customers are using the app and how they are using.

“This will provide a highly refined view of how consumers are interacting with their content,” Mr. Wuerch said.

Cabela’s is planning additional apps with a focus on driving fun and entertainment in this environment. Apps may include light gaming features and competition to drive loyalty and continuing usage. 

“Cabela’s believes that smartphone apps create a really intimate relationship with consumers and bring a lot of value for consumers,” Mr. Wuerch said.

Mobile messaging will be used to drive downloads of apps and advertising will appear in the apps. 

Managing analytics
Cabela’s will use mobile this year to help promote its 50th anniversary using sweepstakes, alerts about special offers and sales and mobile applications for outdoor enthusiasts.

Motricity will track and quantify the effectiveness of Cabela’s mobile campaigns so that the retailer can measure ROI. The analytics provided by Motricity will also help Cabela’s customize and prioritize future campaigns.

“Having a rich predictive analytics solution that underpins the entire platform allows Cabela’s to have a really rich view and understanding of how consumers are interacting with the campaign,” said Tyler Nelson, senior vice president of mobile marketing, advertising and analytics for Motricity.

“It will also be able to predict how consumers will react to the next campaign down to the consumer level,” he said.

“If one consumer is interacting in a certain way, Cabela’s will be able to tune the next campaign in such a way that there is a greater opportunity to engage with it.”

Cabela’s is a great example of how large brands are fully embracing mobile and shifting significant dollars to mobile, per Mr. Nelson

“There is very strong momentum around mobile in the market right now,” Mr. Nelson said. “One of the reasons is that they are seeing the ROI.”

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