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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Searching for social and marketing data

Many marketers, agencies - and everyone in between - get caught up on bubble references and data points. They’ll use Facebook best practice as the only best practice for Facebook executions and only consider metrics and responses of the one channel they’re expected to deliver on.

Isaac Lai

Connections strategy lead, VMLY&R Sydney

Why Australia needs more leaders

A few weeks ago, our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison took it upon himself to tell companies and their CEOs where to go when it came to societal issues. It wasn’t an organisation’s place to get involved. Instead, he said it should be left to governments to solve societies challenges.

Dan Banyard

Managing director, Edentify

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Informative blog. Xero is a well-known revolutionized accounting software, specifically developed to provide best User Experience and mak...

NavkarConsultancyServices

Xero evolves to fit a changing marketplace

Read more

>Writes article about how to show diversity in an authentic way>All featured opinions are from white women

Jennifer Metcalfe

Food for Thought: How can brands show diversity in an authentic way?

Read more

Excellent post, congratulations !!! - Prof Paulo Coelho | https://www.drpaulocoelho.c...

Prof Paulo Coelho

The B2C and B2B marketing transformation helping Invisalign win more smiles

Read more

Great article - but regarding "For a team to achieve their full potential, Edmonson also advises leaders balance psychological safety wi...

Sim

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration - Business leadership - CMO Australia

Read more

I would invest money in machine learning. I think it's important to do that. Don't you agree?

Polly Valentine

Metcash to use AI for promotional planning optimisation in liquor division

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in