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DSW exec: Relevance, recovery and relationships critical aspects to mobile, social success

April 24, 2012

SAN DIEGO – A DSW executive keynoting the Mobile Shopping Spring Summit said that social and mobile mediums help the company better target its users and create more personalized, relevant and engaging experiences.

During the “Where’d You Get Those Shoes?” keynote session, the executive discussed the company’s mobile and social initiatives. The exec also touched upon what worked and did not work for DSW and how the company is continually learning and testing in the mobile and social space.

“For our customers, it’s all about the rush of getting the shoes,” said Kelly Cook, senior vice president of marketing at DSW.

“Our brand promises three things – irresistible value, simple convenience and assortment,” she said.

Mobile drive
Over the past year, DSW has been ramping up its mobile efforts.

The company has a commerce-enabled mobile site where consumers can shop the latest trends, as well as find the nearest DSW location to view the shoes in person.

Additionally, DSW has been testing the waters with QR codes by placing them on its static ads in several magazines, which redirect users to the company’s mobile site.

According to Ms. Cook, QR codes are both good and bad.

DSW is not getting as much play on QR codes as it thought it would get, however, they did meet expectations on multiple points.

For example, there was a QR code in a men’s magazine that specifically targeted the male demographic. Instead of placing a coupon that consumers would have to cut out, DSW placed a QR code that led the male users to an offer that they could redeem at the point-of-sale.

According to Ms. Cook, 14,000 users redeemed that offer.

“That was the most successful QR code campaign we had,” Ms. Cook said. “For the right customer, QR codes work.

“But, it’s not a one-size-fits-all method,” she said. “You have to play around with it.”

All about the customer
The executive also said that customer service is critical to its efforts and the company always admits when it is wrong.

If DSW is running a campaign or promoting something in-store and it runs out of the product, that creates a bad experience for the consumer.

The company also constantly looks at its Facebook and Twitter feeds to see what consumers are saying about their experiences with DSW and constantly looking at ways to improve it.

Making a social, digital and mobile experience completely integrated is difficult for marketers, but it is key to a successful overall strategy.

Social method
Social plays a very big role for DSW.

Social channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are a great way for the company to begin a dialogue with its users and have them spread the word out about different campaigns.

Facebook has turned out to be a very lucrative strategy for DSW, per Ms. Cook.

For DSW, social media is not a push, it is a two-way conversation with its customers.

The company has several ongoing initiatives that it is running on its social media sites.

For example, DSW is constantly running its Frenzy Alert effort on Facebook where it gives users a task to do during a specific amount of time and those that complete the challenge get a surprise gift.

Additionally, every Friday DSW employees post pictures of the shoes they are wearing.

DSW also gives out free shoes every Friday to its Twitter followers when they answer a trivia question.

“You can’t get that kind of advertising anywhere else,” Ms. Cook said. “Social media is a two-way dialogue.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor 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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