Elle magazine partnered with ShopAdvisor and RetailMeNot to create its Shop Now collection of curated content that pushes messages to app users when suggested items are nearby. The promotion ran earlier this fall and drove approximately 500,000 store visits.
Shop Now is a collection of Elle editors' product picks and the items are available through ShopAdvisor and RetailMeNot mobile apps. The combined user base was close to 25 million, all of whom had opted to receive push notifications. Swirl provided the beacon technology, which was paired with Gimbal's geofence technology.
Elle launched the partnership in conjunction with its September issue. Shoppers were then sent push notifications if within one mile of a partner brand's store, including Levi's, Vince Camuto, Barnes & Noble and Guess. A shopper who opens the message and visits the store gets a second notification and a promotion, such as $25 off a purchase at Vince Camuto if redeemed that day.
The entire program was designed to drive in-store traffic. The open rate on the push notifications was 15 times higher than the mobile advertising average, and in-store visit rates were 100 times higher, according to Digiday. In all, 500,000 in-store visits were driven by beacons during the five week period. The magazine plans to continue the program through next year.
Elle didn't get paid when shoppers acted on a promotion, although it did partner with Barnes & Noble to promote the magazine in stores. The initiative is part of a trend in publishing to create compelling ad opportunities off the printed page. Vogue recently partnered with Target for a multi-page spread in the fall issue, filling it with shoppable content. Neiman Marcus has also been making much of its content shoppable, including new fashion lookbooks.
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