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Macy’s aims for last-minute Mother’s Day sales via incentivized iAd effort

May 8, 2013

Macy’s is turning to Apple’s iAd network to promote its Mother’s Day sale, as well as let consumers store a savings pass to their mobile device to redeem in-store.

The iAd campaign can be seen in Pandora’s iPhone application. Macy’s has used mobile advertising quite a bit in the past to promote ongoing sales and, ultimately, bolster revenue.

“One aspect that I particularly like about the Macy’s campaign is that it places the steering wheel back in the consumer’s hand,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile. “Different consumers have different tendencies, purchase interests, and informational gaps.

“The Macy’s ad allows users to find a location, shop online, view specials, shop by category, etc,” she said. “This menu of options services a broader base of solutions and ensures that the consumer can find the information he/she seeks to continue the engagement with the brand.”

Ms. Lowy is not affiliated with Macy’s. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Macy’s did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile sales
The mobile creative for the Macy’s iAd reads “Mother’s Day Sale. Extra 20% or 15% Off.”

When users tap on the ad, it expands to let consumers know about the sale and its in-store and online advantages.

The campaign also has a menu, which includes a map feature that directs consumers to the nearest location using their device’s GPS capabilities.

There is also a specials tab that lets users browse products that are featured in the sale.

Additionally, consumers can download the Macy’s savings pass to their mobile device and save it in their iBooks application.

This campaign is not only timely, but very effective for the retailer.

Nowadays, incentives are a great way for marketers to interact with users and get them to tap on a mobile ad.

Furthermore, letting consumers save the savings pass to their device and use it at the point-of-sale is smart.

Past efforts
Macy’s is no stranger to mobile.

In fact, the retailer has tapped several different channels to drive engagement.

Last year, Macy’s enhanced its iPhone app to help customers browse and shop for Black Friday specials specific to their local store (see story).

The company also added a new layer of interaction to its television broadcast of the 86th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade with a round of mobile application marketing efforts (see story).

Most recently, Macy’s used a combination of QR codes, SMS and mobile Web as part of its partnership with NBC’s “Fashion Star” television show to not only give consumers a chance to enter a sweepstakes, but also build up the retailer’s mobile database (see story).

“One addition that would have been helpful would have been a “Gifts for Mom” section — particularly because the campaign was based around Mother’s Day,” Ms. Lowy said. “Mobile functionality has progressed so much in the past couple of years that we sometimes forget some of its basic qualities — most importantly, that the device is small.

“Even if a site is mobile-optimized, many users will not have the patience to sort through a large base of inventory due to the sheer volume,” she said.

“Accordingly, it’s always prudent to offer filtering options, such as the ‘Shop by Category’ option Macy’s included, as well as abridged options of larger inventory sets. This may include a section entitled ‘Editors Picks’ or ‘Gifts for Her,’ which will feature a digestible number of items for the weary users with little time and patience to browse.”

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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