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PacSun promotes mobile shopping through incentivized ads

July 10, 2012

The PacSun mobile ads

Apparel retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is building awareness for its mobile site by offering consumers a discount when they shop for products via their mobile device.

PacSun is promoting its mobile site through banner advertisements that encourage users to shop to save money. The mobile ads are running in the Words with Friends iPhone application.

“Of course the ads must be reaching the requisite target audience but assuming that is a given, consumers are receptive to mobile ads as a reason to shop – especially, if the ads contain an offer that motivates consumers to buy now,” said Cameron Yuill, founder of AdGent Digital, Palo Alto, CA.

“While it is still early days for mobile commerce, the market has seen very significant growth in consumers buying using their smartphones and tablets,” he said.

Mr. Yuill is not affiliated with PacSun. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

PacSun did not respond to press inquiries.

Shop on mobile
The PacSun mobile ads encourage users to save 15 percent off their order of more than $50 when they use a promo code.

When users tap on the ad, they are redirected to PacSun’s mobile site.

From the mobile site, users can shop by departments such as women’s, men’s, sale or by brand.

PacSun’s mobile site

Consumers can read product information, browse photos and share products via Facebook and Twitter.

Consumers can also add items to their shopping baskets and check-out via the site.

When consumers check-out, they can type in the promo code to apply the discount. The page then reloads to show consumers how much money they save.

From there, consumers can check-out via PayPal, as a guest or by logging in with a PacSun account.

Mobile incentive
A campaign such as this from PacSun is a great example of how retailers need to promote their mobile offerings.

Not only does the mobile ad offer consumers an incentive – a discount – but it also educates consumers on the mobile site and shopping from their handsets.

One of the challenges that retailers and brands face with mobile is finding ways to give users an incentive to shop from their mobile devices.

Additionally, this kind of campaign requires that users spend a certain amount before they can claim the discount, meaning that users are more likely to spend more while shopping.

PacSun is not the only retailer offering consumers an incentive for shopping via their devices.

For example, Clinique recently ran a commerce-enabled ad campaign that let users shop beauty products via a mobile site. For shopping either online or on mobile, consumers received free shipping (see story).

“Using a discount code to promote mobile shopping is a key driver to get users to adopt mobile shopping,” Mr. Yuill said.

“The likes of Groupon and Living Social have proven that when a good deal is offered consumers will purchase,” he said. “Consumers are not worried about what device they use to buy –  if the offer is good enough and targeted to the right audience they will make the purchase.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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