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HP powers up 4.2pc vanity code conversion rate via mobile attribution

August 1, 2016

Cross-device behavior tracking is paramount for any major retailer

Cross-device behavior tracking is paramount for any major retailer

In a reflection of the growing need for mobile attribution and cross-device behavior tracking tools, Hewlett-Packard captured a 4.2 percent conversion rate after implementing a vanity code only found on mobile platforms through a partnership with RetailMeNot.

The consumer electronics company teamed up with RetailMeNot last summer to discover better ways of mapping consumers’ path-to-purchase journeys and overcome its lack of mobile tracking. If HP had not implemented the mobile vanity code across RetailMeNot’s mobile channels, none of its smartphone-led orders would have been tracked.

“Cross-device and mobile-to-offline attribution is something that the retail industry is still trying to solve,” said Michelle Skupin, senior director of global corporate communications at RetailMeNot, Inc.  “It’s an important challenge to solve. As mobile is now the consumer’s first screen, mobile attribution helps marketers understand the performance of their mobile marketing efforts.

“It also gives marketers stronger insights into consumer behavior and their shopping journey,” she said. “At RetailMeNot, we often see shoppers sourcing offer content on their mobile devices and then transacting on desktop or in-store, in addition to transacting on the same mobile device.”

Attribution-enabled order tracking
HP has collaborated with RetailMeNot for several years to fuel direct-to-consumer sales via its online and mobile sites. Last year, the brand noticed that while consumer engagement continued to climb higher, orders attributable to RetailMeNot began to decrease.

Two of the biggest culprits were the facts that many sales were not being tracked due to cross-device switching and lack of mobile attribution through the affiliate network.

According to RetailMeNot, 69 percent of total orders were not attributed due to lack of mobile tracking via the network, while 31 percent of orders were not captured as a result of consumers switching devices.

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RetailMeNot is a big sales-driver for HP products

To combat these issues, RetailMeNot implemented an exclusive mobile vanity code across channels that could only be accessed with a smartphone. Both companies realized that many consumers were starting their product-researching processes on mobile devices before switching to desktop to make the final purchase.

The vanity code offered shoppers $20 off purchases totaling $100 or more, and ran on RetailMeNot’s mobile site and application for two days.

The campaign resulted in a 4.2 percent conversion rate.

Since HP did not have an enabled mobile tracking pixel, none of the orders placed during the trial would have been attributable without the mobile vanity code.

Mobile shopping insights
The mobile vanity code campaign’s results underscored the need for HP – as well as other marketers – to invest more heavily in mobile tracking capabilities through affiliate networks. In HP’s case, this was completed four months after the trial’s conclusion.

“Marketers often say that mobile doesn’t convert to sales,” Ms. Skupin said. “However, marketers should not underestimate the fact that mobile is influencing conversion across all channels.

“Therefore, it is critical that marketers have a compelling mobile presence and be able to attribute their mobile marketing efforts across channels.”

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Omnichannel shopping is now the norm, meaning that marketers must alter attribution strategies accordingly

HP now has an always-on mobile vanity code extending across RetailMeNot’s platforms, as well as a code redemption payment model for any orders made on desktop leveraging the mobile code.

“Attribution vendors can help connect the dots by matching various sources of data,” Ms. Skupin said. “By marketing to consumers via a channel like RetailMeNot, the simplest way to track mobile content’s influence across desktop and in-store is by deploying single-use codes or vanity codes.

“The retailers that leverage single-use codes or vanity codes have the ability to know exactly which marketing dollars and channels performed, and they receive insights into consumer behavior.”

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at

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