September 2, 2010, 3:57 PM

How the Attic nabbed $20,000 in sales in three hours with the help of text messages

Nearly 20% of those who received a text showed up at the store.

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The Attic, which sells trendy apparel to young consumers, recently reached out to its customers on their turf: via text message.

The retailer sent text messages, instant messages and e-mail sales alerts advertising an Independence Day sale to its opt-in VIP customers less than 24 hours before the event.

Of the 1,200 customers that received a text message, 232, or 19%, arrived at the retailer’s bricks-and-mortar store in Southern California before it opened. Those shoppers then went on to buy roughly $20,000 worth of merchandise in three hours, an average of $86.21 per shopper, the retailer says.

The Attic worked with mobile, e-mail and instant message marketing firm Trumpia for the campaign, which it says took only two days to plan and launch.

The Attic is just one of many retailers using mobile messages to get shoppers to come to stores. Some use apps such as shopkick that exploit geolocation technology in phones to offer consumers deals and promotions when they are close to a store. Best Buy Co.  is using shopkick to offer consumers mobile deals and rewards at 187 U.S. stores. It plans to add an additional 70 locations by Oct. 1.

Another company, 1020 Inc., provides a service called Placecast, which uses geolocation technology to offer opt-in text message alerts, such as discounts and offers, for nearby stores.

More consumers own web-connected mobile phones and they are becoming more open to receiving mobile marketing messages, two recent studies report. 27% of U.S. consumers say mobile marketing programs have influenced their decisions to buy products in physical stores, according to a Harris Interactive Inc. study conducted for 1020 Inc. A second study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds 11% of U.S. adults who own a mobile phone have used one to make a purchase,. The rate is highest, at 20%, among consumers ages 18-29, the Pew study reports.

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