In Blog Articles, Mobile Marketing Automation, Retail, Shopping Centers and Mixed-Use Real Estate

We’ve all heard the worrying news that compared with last year, 2014 Black Friday in-store traffic was down 12.5 percent and sales were down 10.3 percent.1 For retailers, this is bad news. All of their newspaper inserts and magazine ads, TV commercials and online banners just didn’t deliver the revenue they expected—and needed.

Now, regardless of how you feel about Black Friday, it’s a day aimed at driving arguably the most important metric for brick-and-mortar retailers: foot traffic.

New Strategies for Attracting Shoppers

Not every retailer tries to use Black Friday as the fix for their businesses. Instead, some retailers, like a national department store (which happens to be one of Phunware’s customers), use a slightly different strategy. They use push notifications to deliver shoppers.

How do they do it? Most recently, they sent a push notification to 1 million mobile devices users who downloaded their app. What did the notification say? It simply told users about an offer of 20 percent off in-store purchases.

Of course, with traditional marketing, it would be very difficult to prove the ROI of a single outreach campaign and to track who engaged with that campaign. With a mobile app, however, this kind of direct attribution becomes easy.

When tapped or swiped, the notification took the user to an offer wallet containing a coupon with a unique barcode. When the user made a purchase in-store and presented the barcode for scanning to ensure the discount, the store could attribute the purchase to the notification. Additionally, because the purchase was tied to an individual app user, the retailer gained an opportunity to learn more about its individual users—and how to market to them.

The Results Speak for Themselves


Click to view the full infographic.

So what happened when the department store sent this coupon to a million users? Within three days, 14.2 percent of the recipients went to one of the store’s physical locations, resulting in $500,000 of revenue directly attributable to the campaign. Not bad for one push notification.

Who’s on Board with Push?

Most retailers avoid push notifications, even though studies indicate that 68 percent of consumers enable push notifications and 50 percent say that they intentionally download an app to get access to special or exclusive offers.2

When you develop a push notification strategy, you must prioritize the customer experience—and their preferences—above all else. Blindly pushing notifications is a proven path to marketing failure. What’s evolving, slowly but surely, is a recognition among marketers that tailored, optimized push notifications boost response levels. The days of “spray and pray” are fading—it’s critical to create push notifications that matter to your users.

If you’re a marketer working for a brick-and-mortar store, and you’re looking for additional foot traffic, Phunware has worked with many retailers to implement push successfully (and profitably).

Visit us at NRF Booth #1307 or schedule a demo to learn more.

Contact Us for a Demo


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