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Sunkist readies multiple mobile sites to support in-store shopping

August 22, 2011

Sunkist's mobile Web site for oranges

Sunkist is launching a total of seven additional mobile sites by the end of the year as it looks to drive purchases and make it easier to shop for produce in grocery stores.

Sunkist launched its mobile marketing strategy last year and has been rolling out mobile sites dedicated to specific varieties such as lemons and Cara Cara navel oranges. Now, the company is readying additional mobile sites and expects to have a total of 11 mobile variety-specific sites live by the end of the year.

“The real idea behind this is that we realize shoppers are using phones more and more during their shopping trips and we want to give them the resources they need to help with their purchasing decisions,” said Julie DeWolf, director of retail marketing of Sunkist, Sherman Oaks, CA.

“With the right mix of other elements, mobile can drive sales,” she said.

“If someone is in the produce section and doesn’t know what to buy, having that information at their fingertips absolutely might sway them to buy our products rather than some other product.“

Retail angle
Sunkist is also working with retailers to develop promotional mobile sites for programs such as sweepstakes, charitable donations and coupons.

The coupon strategy will involve using mobile technology to enable grocery store customers to load a coupon from a Sunkist mobile site directly onto their loyalty card for a specific retailer.

The produce company’s first mobile sites were for citrus varieties where it felt there was a need for consumer education, such as Cara Cara navel oranges and Minneola tangelos.

The varietal sites provide consumers with nutritional information, varietal characteristics, purchasing and handling tips, recipes and videos.

This fall, the company is rolling out mobile sites for other varieties with the goal of having 11 variety-specific sites by the end of the year.

“Having multiple mobile sites allows brands to deliver exactly the information the consumer is seeking in that moment, whether it’s a discount, an ingredient list, or a diverting branded game,” said Zaw Thet, CEO of mobile advertising firm 4Info. “Virtually all of our CPG clients use campaign-specific mobile sites, in addition to maintaining a corporate level mobile site.

“Grocery store brands are trying to reach their target audience to increase brand recognition, reinforce brand messaging, and increase purchase intent,” he said.

Mr. Thet is not affiliated with Sunkist and spoke as an expert on mobile marketing.

Mobile pioneer
Finally, Sunkist will begin incorporating mobile messaging and QR codes into all of its communications, including trade ads and social media.

Previously, its mobile messaging mostly occurred in store. For example, an in-store display instructs shoppers to text in the name of a citrus variety to a shortcode to receive a link to the mobile site.

The company ties mobile in with its overarching marketing strategy. For example, a promotion at a large retail chain in the Southeast involved in-store radio, display units and a coupon in addition to mobile.

“The medium is growing and as smartphone proliferation continues, I expect the trend will get more positive toward the use of smartphones during shopping,” Ms. DeWolfe said.

“Mobile is something we are trying to be on the forefront of,” she said. “We are a pioneer in the produce area when it comes to mobile and we are pretty proud of that.”

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

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