By Amanda Ferrante, Assistant Editor
On a busy Saturday at young women’s’ apparel retailer Mandee, I didn’t expect much more from the storefront greeter than a simple welcome at the door. However, in addition to a friendly, “Hi- welcome to Mandee,” the amiable greeter told me I could text Mandee7 to 45566 to receive a 20 percent discount on one item at checkout.
I thanked her and made a beeline for the beautiful shirt just a few yards away. She followed adding, “And it’s the weekend, so you don’t have to worry about your rates! It’s this weekend only!”
That was the “Aha!” I was looking for. Not only did she inform me of the great deal going on, but she made sure to create the sense of urgency by coaxing me with a subtle, yet important, piece of information that would, ultimately, seal the deal. Following suit, shoppers left and right had their cell phones in one hand and their chosen garments draped over the other.
After texting, I received a message saying I’ve opted in for Mandee Mobile Alerts — and earned 20 percent off one item for today only.
This is a deal I hadn’t seen before as a consumer — and it was executed well because the retailer, though small and limited to the east coast, had its target consumer in mind: young women with relatively low incomes in search of the latest fashion. Text messaging is becoming a more integral part of shopping, and giving customers the information they need to make a proactive decision to opt-in for a discount is how to do it.
In the stores and on the floors
In addition to having its target consumer in mind, Mandee has its target consumers on the floor. Mandee employees are typically young women wearing the latest Mandee fashions. Getting information from a greeter about a promotion is like hearing from a friend or peer at school. She was friendly, easy-going, and seemingly trying to share the good news about a great deal.
Going shopping alone at Mandee is never an issue — I don’t even have to bother sending a picture of myself in a dress I’ve picked out to one of my friends; I can ask the fitting room attendant! After all, she is someone I can relate to. Not to mention the amount of times I, a loyal Mandee shopper, have seen an outfit on an employee and asked where she got it. Where else?
For the future
I have come to expect useful promotions from Mandee. For loyalty card holders, every $20 spent earns a “hole punch” on a Mandee club pass. Once shoppers rack up 10 punches, they receive 20 percent off a purchase of $20 or more. Not only is this incentive to shop, but it’s feasible for the Mandee consumer who’s on a tight budget. Promotion by text is a new arena for Mandee, and it will be interesting to see what’s coming next after the text messaging promotion.
Most likely, the next move from Mandee will be mobile. “As mobile end users grow more sophisticated, their overall expectations for performance for performance and content will rise,” says Manny Gonzalez, senior director of mobile technology at Keynote, a provider of on-demand test and measurement products for mobile communications and the Internet. “Even if a company’s service is at the top of the performance ratings today, its customers will expect more tomorrow…Keeping in mind that the performance and reliability of a mobile marketing campaign is just as critica l— if not more.”
Gonzalez says effective mobile marketing messages should provide a link to the company’s mobile Web site anytime a user texts to a common short code (CSC). “This helps introduce users to a company’s mobile offering and further extends the interaction with the company.”
One thing I know for sure: I will be one of the first Mandee customers in line to take advantage of the next great promotion.