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Sam’s Club strengthens mobile play for time-strapped holiday shoppers

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November 3, 2011

Sam's Club enhances its mobile strategy for the holidays

Sam’s Club is making it easier for holiday shoppers to find and purchase gifts with a mobile-optimized holiday shopping site, mobile alerts and enhancements to its mobile app.

The shopping site, http://SamsClub.com/gifts, will be available Nov. 1 – Dec. 26 and features holiday planning content as well as a list of weekly savings events. The newly enhanced app allows users to create shopping lists and view coupons.

“We continue to see strong momentum in traffic to our mobile app and mobile website,” said Matt Martin, senior manager of mobile strategy for Sam’s Club, Bentonville, AR.

“Since our recent mcommerce launch, we are already seeing promising product and membership sales coming through the mobile app,” he said.

“The growing momentum in mobile is what drives us to continue to innovate and explore new functionality to offer our members, so they will keep coming back and share with their friends.”

Holiday planning made easy
Sam’s Club is making mobile a focus of its holiday marketing efforts as way to provide members with simple solutions that will expand their access to the retailer. The goal is to streamline on-the-go and at-home shopping.

Mobile is a bigger focus for Sam’s Club this holiday season compared with last year.

“Mobile is playing a bigger role this year for us,” Mr. Martin said. “We have integrated a consistent message and experience across all of our traditional marketing channels and invested in innovations in new channels with digital being a primary focus.”

The http://SamsClub.com/gifts microsite is designed to offer solutions for every aspect of holiday planning, from decorating, entertaining, giving presents and menu planning.

The site will feature a daily “Holiday Value of the Day” that will include online exclusives, gifts with free shipping and instant savings.

Members can sign up on the site to receive email, text or mobile alerts and be the first to know about Holiday Value of the Day.

Also on the site are digital versions of Sam’s Club’s gift guide and entertaining catalogs, a list of weekly savings events, holiday hours and shipping cut-off dates.

The site at http://SamsClub.com/gifts is optimized for iPad, tablets and smartphones.

Time-strapped shoppers
To simplify access to Sam’s Club for smartphone users, the retailer has added new mobile shopping capabilities to the Sam’s Club app to make it easier to purchase from the entire SamsClub.com merchandise assortment and place an order for items only found in-club.

The new features include the ability to create custom shopping and gifting lists, view a map and store layout for a particular store, purchase, renew and upgrade memberships and view customized eValues, which are paperless coupons available to Sam’s Club Plus members.

The app, which already has more than 900,000 users, is free to download by visiting http://m.SamsClub.com or texting the keyword APP to short code 72671. The app is available to iPhone, Android and BlackBerry users.

The shopping site and the mobile app can also be shopped by non-members, who are charged a 10 percent upcharge on all SamsClub.com and mobile app purchases.

Sam’s Club is a division of Walmart Stores. The membership warehouse club serves more than 47 million members across the United States, Brazil, China and Mexico.

“We know that more and more time-strapped shoppers will be using their smartphones and tablets for holiday shopping and planning this season,” Mr. Martin said.

“Our latest smartphone features give our members the ability to review and shop our online and in-club inventory, build customized shopping lists and renew their membership straight from their phone,” he said.

“Also, our holiday Web site http://SamsClub.com/gifts has been optimized for both tablet and smartphones.  All of these features were designed to simplify our Member’s holiday shopping experience.”

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

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