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Victoria’s Secret incentivizes shopping through loyalty-based iPad app

March 5, 2013

Victoria’s Secret is continuing to make mobile a priority in its digital marketing with a new iPad application that serves as a hub for its Pink Nation loyalty program.

The retailer is using the iPad app to tie in with its Pink collection, which targets college-aged women. The app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store.

“The Pink Nation app is a direct attempt by Victoria’s Secret to build up their customer database,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

“First, you have to join or sign in to access the app content, then you have to enter your mobile number and agree to receive up to six texts per month,” he said. “You also have to enter your postal address.”

“Victoria’s Secret certainly doesn’t believe in allowing its customers to have any secrets about themselves. So what amazing exclusive content is it that they are providing that makes giving up all this personal information worthwhile? There are also exclusive offers, but I don’t think that the content is strong enough to get people to sign up for the app and join the Pink Nation.”

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with Victoria’s Secret. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Victoria’s Secret did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile loyalty
The purpose behind the app is to mix shopping in with branded content to drive repeat app traffic.

When first opened, the app syncs with a Facebook account to let users access content. The app is locked into landscape mode.

Consumers can shop from the app’s Pink line via a feature that pulls in the Victoria’s Secret Web site.

The app also includes a shoppable look book. Consumers can swipe through spring looks and tap on products that link directly to product pages on Victoria’s Secret’s Web site.

A monthly calendar is integrated into the app with a few pieces of weekly content that incentivize users to open the app on a daily basis. For example, consumers can unlock offers, videos and social media content via the app.

The app uses the built-in GPS from the tablet to locate nearby stores. The store locator is a map and features information about each store, including the address and directions.

Location is also used to pull in local weather information. The daily weather report shows a picture of the Pink dog – the line’s logo – and lets users share content via Facebook, Twitter or email. Pictures can also be saved to the device’s camera roll.

In addition to shopping information, the app also focuses on content. For example, a photo filter section of the app lets consumers upload and customize photos with Victoria’s Secret logos and images.

The iPad is the latest platform for Victoria’s Secret to launch the Pink Nation app on. The app is also available for iPhone and Android devices.

To promote the app, Victoria’s Secret sent an SMS message to its users on March 1 that read, “Pink your iPad! Get the new Pink nation iPad app for exclusive goodies you won’t find anywhere else.”

A link in the SMS message directed consumers to a mobile landing page with a description and link to the app.

Mobile secret
Victoria’s Secret is no newbie to mobile.

The retailer has repeatedly relied on mobile in the past few years to build up its loyalty programs and sales, especially with its advertising efforts.

For example, Victoria’s Secret most recently ran a mobile ad campaign to drive mobile sales and in-store traffic to promote a limited-edition boyfriend pant (see story).

Additionally, the brand combined video, social media and location into a mobile advertising campaign last year to let users find their perfect bra fit by answering a short quiz (see story).

In this case, Victoria’s Secret is using an app to acquire loyal users. As tablet ownership continues to grow, smart retailers are increasingly relying on the devices to build up a loyalty program.

“We do not think that it should be necessary to jump through so many hoops to get access to the app and its content,” Mr. Buckingham said.

“A well-designed iPad app can work for Victoria’s Secret or any brand as the installed base of iPad users is a significant, growing and engaged audience,” he said.

“We expect a lot of retailers and brands to design and develop iPad apps that incorporate loyalty and shopping in the coming year as the iPad continues to build its audience and sales.”

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

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