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Kohl’s invests in mobile tools to drive holiday sales

November 2, 2011

Kohl's is investing more in mobile this holiday season

Kohl’s Department Stores is investing in new mobile tools to make shopping easier for busy consumers this holiday season.

A new integrated campaign launched this week by Kohl’s for the 2011 holiday season includes a significant increase in marketing spend in several key areas, including mobile. Among the new mobile tools is an enhanced mobile application featuring the ability to view and search circulars.

“This holiday season will see a dramatic expansion in mobile engagement both among high-end and middle market retailers,” said Stephen Burke, vice president of the mobile practice at Resource Interactive, Columbus, OH.

“This year, a lot of the pieces have come together to drive people to the assets that people built last year,” he said.

“I think the big realization is that mobile is going to be a key driver of in store traffic as well as mobile commerce revenue opportunity.”

Mr. Burke is not affiliated with Kohl’s and spoke based on his experience in mobile.

Kohl’s did not respond to a request for comment by the press deadline.

In the know
Retail adoption of mobile strategies such as mobile sites and applications jumped significantly in the past year and has become a core strategy, according to a recent report from Acquity Group.

Best-in-class retailers such as Amazon and Walmart were singled out for their focused commitment to mobile as well as their execution of mobile tactics such as mobile optimized sites, strong transactional functionality and well-designed apps that meet customer needs.

However, even with the significant uptake in mobile, there is still a huge opportunity for retailers to meet customers’ expectations in this space, according to Acquity Group.

Kohl’s focus on mobile is in response to the fact that consumers are increasingly using smartphones to shop.

The middle market department store chain will use mobile sales alerts and exclusive holiday offers to help keep smartphone shoppers aware of new promotions during the holiday shopping season.

Additionally, the retailer has enhanced its mobile application to include the ability to view and search circulars, find local store information, use QR code and bar code functionality to find product descriptions, read reviews and shop online.

E-commerce is growing rapidly at Kohl’s, with sales on expected to reach $1 billion by the end of 2011 — an increase of approximately 38 percent from 2010. Kohl’s does not break out what percentage of its e-commerce revenue comes in via mobile

The holiday campaign is tilted “Love to Give, Happy to Save.” It will be communicated across multiple mediums with a focusing on keeping consumers abreast of the savings opportunities available at Kohl’s throughout the season.

In addition to the mobile investment, Kohl’s will also increase the number of emails that it sends to customers and will tailor email messaging to customer needs, lifestyle and geographic location. The content of the emails will include relevant updates on Kohl’s brands and savings opportunities. T

Kohl’s is also increasing its investment and reach through digital and social media to engage in dialogue about Kohl’s and to share select offers on Facebook and Twitter.

The retailer’s Facebook fan base now exceeds 5.8 million, up from approximately 2.8 million at this time last year.

 “I think we will also see increasingly consistent calls to action across mutiple touchpoints,” Mr. Burke said. “We are seeing mobile permeate retailers’ communication vehicles because they recognize that the American consumer collects information on the go and wants to respond immediately – they don’t want to wait until they get home.”

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

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