Kohls rolls out first mobile effort to push holiday deals and sales
By Rimma Kats
November 1, 2010
Kohl's is using mobile this holiday season
Kohls multichannel holiday campaign focuses on all of the special offers the department store chain offers consumers, with mobile at the heart of it.
The campaign focuses on how shoppers can save on products at their convenience. The multichannel campaign will be communicated across multiple mediums, including print advertising, direct mail, email, digital, mobile and social media.
Mobile offers retailers another powerful channel to drive sales during the holiday season, said Nick Taylor, president of Usablenet, New York.
With the surge in smartphone adoption this year, retailers should capitalize on this opportunity by extending holiday items and sales to mobile, he said. Non-optimized retail sites run the risk of losing business during the most critical quarter.
Mr. Taylor, whose company develops mobile commerce sites, did not work with Kohls on the holiday campaign. He is simply a third-party source based on his expertise with mobile retail sites.
Kohl's did not respond by deadline.
Kohls is a family-focused specialty department store chain offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products.
The company saw an increasing amount of consumers accessing its Web site via their smartphones and created a mobile-optimized site.
Consumers can now shop the stores merchandise via the site, as well as read customer reviews and view ratings for items.
Additionally, consumers can view shipping deals, find the closest store, browse that days ad, contact customer service, view their account and their My Kohls Charge history.
The company expects Kohls.com sales to increase by more than 40 percent for 2010 as the site continues to be a go-to resource for shoppers.
Kohls.com offers merchandise and savings available in-store, plus thousands of online exclusives, which are now available on the mobile device as well.
Merchandising for the mobile site focused on increasing awareness of "only-at-Kohls" brands through holiday insights from Simply Vera Vera Wang, LC Lauren Conrad, Dana Buchman and Bobby Flay.
Recognizing that consumers are increasingly using smartphones for improved convenience and efficiency, Kohl's has made significant investments in new mobile tools designed to make shopping easier for consumers.
The popular list builder tool will once again be available on Kohls.com and on the mobile version of the site during the days leading up to Thanksgiving as an additional resource to help shoppers conveniently plan their in-store visits and preview hundreds of Early Bird offers.
A screengrab of the Kohl's mobile site
Kohls charge card and direct mail
Kohls has increased its direct mail investment and distribution.
Throughout November and December, Kohls Charge card customers will enjoy more days to save than last year.
Pick-Your-Day savings offers and shopping passes allow shoppers to save multiple times during key sales events. This holiday season, Kohls will also include an additional shopping pass with each Pick-Your-Day offer.
Kohls will once again distribute a bundled holiday gift guide and jewelry mailer to select Kohls Charge card holders, including additional ways to save.
New this year, Kohls will also distribute a December guide with more than 30 pages of gift ideas.
Kohls database of shopper emails continues to grow as customers look to stay updated on brands and savings opportunities.
Emails beginning the second week of November will feature offers, gifts and apparel available in-store and online, including exclusive offers available only at Kohls.com.
Kohls will segment emails according to customer needs, lifestyle and preference.
Recipients can link to Kohls Facebook page directly from their emails to share their deals.
Digital and social media
Kohls will increase its investment in its digital marketing strategy, leveraging social media and online advertising.
This investment reflects the continuing trend of consumers researching purchases and sharing information online.
The company has seen substantial growth of its Facebook fan base, which has more than doubled since 2009 and now exceeds 2.8 million.
As a result, Kohls will continue to increase interaction on the site, making it easier for customers to shop and share their experiences.
The company will promote an ongoing dialogue about Kohls brands, programs and gifts, increase online polling functionality and offer integrated seasonal messaging via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In addition, Kohls will seed merchandise giveaways with consumer bloggers.
Homepage takeovers are also a component of Kohls holiday digital advertising strategy.
The high-impact placements provide increased interaction with customers, promoting increased brand exposure.
Throughout November and December, Kohls will promote sales events with nine homepage takeovers on popular sites such as AOL and Yahoo.
This year, Kohls will also have a presence on Oprah.com to seed messaging prior to the Jan. 1, 2011 launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, and an expanded paid advertising presence on Facebook.
Television and radio
Kohls will continue to leverage national and regional broadcast advertisements to engage customers and highlight why Kohls is the smartest choice this holiday season.
Broadcast spots will feature shoppers sharing how they gifted at Kohls by using savings tools and policies such as Kohls Cash, Kohls Charge card and Kohl's return policy.
Beginning after Thanksgiving, two 30-second national brand TV spots will run throughout the holiday season during such shows as Dancing with the Stars, Greys Anatomy, CSI, Survivor and Modern Family.
A mix of 15 - and 30-second TV advertising spots will support Kohls key sales events and highlight the companys savings tools and differentiators.
The company continues to take advantage of radios strong reach with various 30-second national radio spots debuting on Nov. 2 and running through the week.
Kohls will once again use DJ integration throughout the holiday season with radio personalities Ryan Seacrest, Billy Bush, John Tesh and Lia.
Customers often prefer alternative methods to browse and purchase gifts, especially this time of year, Usablenet's Mr. Taylor said. Mobile allows customers to avoid the crowds and engage with brands in the most accessible and convenient way.
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