May 6, 2013, 2:24 PM

An Indonesian food mart finds success with mobile marketing

More than 1,000 consumers visited the merchant’s mobile site daily during a campaign.

Lead Photo

Mobile marketing in stores is becoming increasingly common in the U.S.

Staples Inc., for example, encourages its store shoppers to download its mobile app via advertisements on store payment terminals. If a shopper does that and then checks in to the store via her smartphone, she can receive coupons to use on her shopping trip. Other retailers enable shoppers to scan a QR code or text a special word to a short code for access to deals, offers or additional product information. A short code is an abbreviated phone number often spelled out in a keyword.

Now, the store-based mobile marketing trend is spreading to Indonesia. Matahari Food Business launched a mobile marketing program in 90 retail outlets throughout the country. In a three-month trial, from October through December 2012, store shoppers were invited to enter a short code into TMSsearch.com, a specific search engine operated by mobile marketing vendor theTMSway.com

When the shoppers entered the short code in the TMS (which stands for Tag Mobile Services) mobile search they were taken to Matahari’s mobile site where they could enter to win a series of prizes ranging from a family holiday to Singapore to iPads and vouchers if they registered on the site by providing personal information including their name, age, gender, and e-mail or mobile number. They also has to answer a three-question survey. Matahari advertised the competition on store shelves, windows, and other in-store marketing displays.

More than 1,000 consumers per day on average engaged with the offer by entering the short code into the search browser, the retailer says, spending an average of 2.26 minutes engaging with the mobile site. Of all consumers that interacted with the mobile campaign, more than 10% converted and registered their personal details. 65% were women and 68% were between 18 and 34 years old.

“It is very heartening to know that this mobile campaign has generated much noise in our stores and via social media,” says Meshvara Kanjaya, marketing and merchandising director of Matahari Food Business. “It has definitely proven to provide our customers a unique shopping experience, and it will be interesting to explore how we can continue to create consumer engagement via such technology. It is all about rewarding our customers.”

Consumers also spread the word about the mobile campaign on Facebook. Using web analytics from TMS, Matahari looked at the contest’s reach on Facebook. Word about the competition appeared in more than 600,000 Facebook newsfeeds, the retailer says.  

Matahari’s also used the program to gain further insights about what is most important to its customers by asking the mobile participants to complete a poll. Price tops the list for shoppers visiting a Matahari store, with 47% naming it as the most important factor.  Accessibility and location came in second with 27% of the results, and offering a wide range of products came in third with 24%.

Cost for the TMS service, which the vendor says it is agressively rolling out throughout Asia, starts at $5,000 for the initial set up and build and $3,000 per week for access to the campaign analytics and opt in data. 

Staples is No. 18 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400.

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