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Michaels pushes mobile initiatives to drive in-store traffic

July 25, 2011

A screen shot of the Michaels iPhone app

Crafts retailer Michaels is using a mobile-optimized site application and mobile coupons to drive in-store traffic.

Additionally, the company is using QR codes and SMS to further engage consumers. Michaels is rolling out the mobile initiatives in response to hearing consumers’ needs for easier, on-the-go tools that can be used in stores.

“Our key strategy was to give customers the opportunity to engage with Michaels whenever and wherever they choose,” said Anthony Price, senior director of digital marketing and public relations for Michaels, Irving, TX.

“We’ve been able to add significant depth to our in-store experience by offering mobile versions of the project sheets to give customers ideas, instructions and inspiration whenever they want it,” he said.

Michaels is an arts and crafts specialty retailer.

Handmade crafts
Michaels is known for their weekly coupons and is targeting smartphone users with mobile discounts.

“We’ve made shopping so much more convenient with mobile coupons and weekly ads baked right into the app. Everything comes together to give our customers what they want most – more inspiration,” Mr. Price said.

Consumers can browse deals by category or brand on their devices and show them at the point-of-sale.

Users can also share their finds with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter.

Select products on the app are linked to additional content, such as projects and how-to videos to give consumers inspiration while shopping.

In addition, consumers  can locate nearby locations and view a list of in-store events.

To streamline the shopping experience, the app lets users scan mobile bar codes on products and create shopping lists.

Consumers can also opt-in to text messages to receive special offers, event information and project ideas.

On-the-go retailers
After recognizing the need for on-the-go consumers, Michaels is the latest mass retailer to tap into mobile users.

Recent examples of shopping apps honing in on mobile include shopkick, ShopRunner and Stop & Shop.

“When we announced the app on Facebook, we were inundated with hundreds of likes and positive comments from fans in minutes,” Mr. Price said.

“Overall, customers love the opportunity to have mobile coupons scanned from their phones as well as view all the project ideas when they’re shopping,” he said.

“In addition to serving as a great in-store compliment to the customer experience, mobile adds a lot of convenience for customers.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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