How Lord & Taylor Integrates Print Ads with Mobile Commerce

Retailer Lord & Taylor hopes to increase customer engagement as well as sales by connecting mobile shopping with old-fashioned print advertising.

Lord & Taylor's parent company, Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC), deployed a mobile app in January that allows customers to scan print pictures with their mobile phones and then buy the items immediately, without having to visit a Lord & Taylor website.

Ryan Craver, senior vice president of corporate strategy at HBC, says the ability to engage customers who are interested in what they see in ads is imperative in this digital age. The mobile purchasing capability lets customers follow through instantly when they see something intriguing while paging through the newspaper or an ad circular. Ordinarily, customers may put off purchasing the item until they are in front of a computer or in a store -- increasing the risk that a retailer will lose a sale, Craver says.

About 40 percent of the people who downloaded the app scanned an item in a print ad right away, Craver says. On average, customers scan seven products every time they use the application. He expects the app, from mobile commerce vendor Pounce, to help convert print material into actual sales.

To enable the process, HBC provides Pounce with product materials slated for print ads a week or two in advance. Pounce then ties image-recognition technology to the store's mobile site, which provides product information, such as available colors, price, sizes, ship time and, if available, more photos.

Getting to Frictionless

Craver says partnering with Pounce is another step toward omnichannel retail, which brings together every possible consumer touch point from in-store shopping to online purchasing.

Craver says he hopes the technology may someday allow a consumer to use a smartphone to scan a product pictured on a sign, displayed on a mannequin or hanging on a store rack and then read about or order it right then and there.

"It's about making everything in the store shoppable off someone's mobile phone," Craver says. "If I have a product that we don't have in a particular size, [the customer] can order it using a mobile phone."

Forrester Research analyst Julie Ask says HBC is on the right track. "We know with the mobile phone, to get someone to look through a website is hard. This is one thing that can remove a little bit of that friction."

However, she says, retailers can take this technology only so far right now. Image-recognition technology works when a specific item is already cataloged for identification. But it's not yet capable of taking any image scanned by a consumer - -a yellow dress, for example -- recognizing it and then displaying where to buy it. And it can't yet pinpoint which stores near the curious consumer have the desired item in stock. "That has to come together before powerful stuff starts to happen," Ask says.

Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

Read more about retail in CIO's Retail Drilldown.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in