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Chico’s drives engagement, charitable giving via mobile-optimized microsite

April 22, 2013

Chico’s FAS Inc. is driving engagement for its Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper retail brands, while also raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals via a new multichannel campaign that includes a mobile-optimized microsite.

On the Send a Smile microsite as well as on the Facebook page for each brand, users can create a card that will be printed and delivered to a child being treated in a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Chico’s FAS will donate $1 for every card created up to $50,000.

“We aspire to leverage all of our digital capabilities – Web sites, social, mobile – whenever possible,” said Jessica Wells, vice president of social marketing at Chico’s FAS, Ft. Myers, FL.

“We want our customers to be able Send A Smile anytime, anywhere,” she said. “The interactive card creator feature of the campaign has been scaled to fit the small screen for ease of use and convenience.

“With this campaign, we believe that you don’t have to be on your desktop to do good.”

Easy participation
Chico’s FAS created the multi-faceted campaign as a call-to-action for new and existing customers, recognizing that mobile and social media make it easier participate in programs such as this.

Participants who create a card on Send a Smile site can share the experience via Facebook, Twitter, email, Google+ and Pinterest.

Users can also tap a button on the site to watch a video about the Children’s Miracle Network from their mobile device.

The campaign is being promoted via posts on social sites, the retailer’s branded ecommerce sites, via email and with in-store signage and handouts.

The Send A Smile campaign was launched in partnership with digital engagement agency ePrize. This is the second year Chico’s is running the program.

As with many of today’s campaigns – whether for a social cause, product promotion, or educational purpose – to stay competitive you must be mobile,” said David Wachs, senior vice president of mobile at ePrize, Chicago.

“With that in mind, clearly mobile plays a major role in the overall ‘Send a Smile’ campaign,” he said. “Mobile helps to make the participation process incredibly convenient for the consumer.

“You can send a card with 4 easy touches or clicks, and do that on the go. Send a Smile’s mobility makes for a campaign that is easy, fun and seamless for consumers to use anytime, anywhere.”

Mobile a requirement
Last year, Chico’s hit its 50,000 card and $50,000 donation goal for the Send A Smile campaign in just two weeks.

The Send a Smile microsite is part of a larger effort designed to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals during April and May. This is Chico’s third May is for Miracles campaign.

The campaign also includes an in-store element, with Chico’s selling a limited-edition Miracle Bracelet starting April 18 that is available in boutiques, outlets and online for $20, with $10 from the sale benefitting local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. White House Black Market is also joining in with its own Creating Miracles Bracelet.

Additionally, Soma Intimates will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from sales of its Sensualities Collection during May to local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals while Boston Proper will donate 10 percent of proceeds from its Travel Collection.

Last year, Chico’s FAS raised over $1.3 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Chico’s FAS operates 611 Chico’s boutiques and 100 outlets as well as 406 White House Black Market boutiques and 48 outlets, 197 Soma Intimates boutiques and 16 outlets and 2 Boston Proper boutiques.

“Mobile is a major component, especially related to usability and accessibility,” Ms. Wells said.

“Mobile and tablet adoption is nearly ubiquitous at this point, so ensuring that the microsite experience is seamless on mobile is not a nice to have, it’s a requirement,” she said.

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

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