Tips on Making the Grade with Back-to-School Mobile Offers

By Ashley Eckel

Although the National Retail Federation is predicting back-to-school spending will decline by nearly 13% this year, retailers shouldn’t be discouraged from capitalizing on one of summer’s peak shopping opportunities. Untitled

As mobile commerce and engagement continues to compound daily, today’s parents have come to depend on mobile content more than their Saturday night babysitter. From coupons, to media, to apps; back-to-school shopping is a prime time to target this group and drive mobile, online and in-store sales.

However, the ability to engage parents and kids alike through mobile campaigns requires a blend of relevant content, correct timing, and ease-of-use. This back-to-school season, rather than just being another offer stuffed in an already full inbox, try using mobile to connect to consumers in the moment, and spur spending both online and off.

Mobile Coupons

When executed correctly, mobile coupons are digital morsels of traffic-driving goodness that arrive just in time to complement a consumer’s need—right then and there. Combined with an easy redemption method such as barcode scanning or offer codes, your mobile coupons can pro-actively address a need, instead of pushing yet another email offer. As a result, the chances that consumers will redeem your offer—in-store or directly from their phones—increases significantly.

When Nickelodeon used an in-store campaign to offer a $5 mobile coupon off Dora Rocks purchases at Target stores, their redemption rates were 10 times higher than existing benchmarks. Parents got a coupon, and kids got a special message from Dora—a mobile win for the entire family.

Mobile Apps and Alerts

Mobile apps give your brand omniscient access to customers’ desires, location, data, and, above all, their precious time. And they can help you create loyalty by entertaining, educating and generally making users’ lives easier. If a mobile app is already in your arsenal, back-to-school season is a great chance to put it to work.

To gear up for the August shopping spike, Victoria’s Secret is using push notifications to alert its iPhone and iPad app users to their “Ultimate Shopping Night” in-store event. Not only is the retailer using mobile to drive brick-and-mortar traffic, but they also are building their loyalty program and adding social media into the mix.

Mobile Media

Users watch more than four billion hours of online video each month on YouTube alone, and earlier this year, Apple announced selling its 25 billionth song on iTunes. Yep, consumers like media, in various forms—and even more so when they can use their mobile devices to access it anytime, anywhere. So what does this mean for you as a retailer? Much like coupons or apps, relevant and readily available, rich content puts your brand top-of-mind.

This summer, Target stores used mobile to drive free downloads of the themed “Ula Ula” song as part of the company’s Summer Up campaign. After driving thousands of engagements through the mobile campaign, you can bet that the Target brand will be a go-to for those back-to-school shoppers.

The beauty of mobile is that can be used to push any type of content to remain timely and relevant with the season shopping spikes. A new eBook, The Thrilling and Dashing World of Mobile Content, discusses several ways in which brands can connect to on-the-go consumers and increase both online and offline revenues. Pass the mobile test with consumers this back-to-school season, and you’ll have a greater chance of creating lasting engagement throughout the year.

Ashley Eckel is the Marketing Director for StarStar, a new type of mobile phone number that allows brands to deliver any mobile experience to any phone through a simple, fast phone call.