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Apparel Brands that Excel at Mobile Marketing

by Zach W.
The emergence of Smartphones has forged a new path through the digital and mobile marketing landscape.  Brands are taking advantage of this trailblazing opportunity by incorporating mobile apps, mobile responsive sites and QR Codes into their marketing strategies. Expanding far beyond their original purpose, QR Codes were designed by Toyota to track vehicles during the manufacturing process to allow for high speed scanning. Today, major retail brands are using codes to keep consumers engaged in an endless number of ways.  The top five apparel brands in the world (ZARA, Nike, H&M, Ralph Lauren and Adidas) are using codes and mobile apps to connect with consumers and provide updates on sales, coupons, discounts and new merchandise. ZARA, ranked as the top apparel store in the world in 2013, launched a mCommerce site in mid-2012.  Although the site made shopping more convenient for consumers, it was not optimized for mobile use, leading to many customer complaints. In response, the brand launched an iPhone app, followed by a series of mobile-responsive apps for an Android, Windows, and BlackBerry. These moves significantly increased ZARA’s sales by 60% in 2013. Today, customers enjoy a better shopping experience by scanning apparel through the ZARA app to easily get information about items, colors and sizes.

Ralph Lauren and Zara Mobile Marketing

H&M, the world’s third largest apparel brand, created a promotional campaign based around QR Codes for the opening of its new branch in Germany.  During the promotion, 120,000 members of their online community received digital coupons via SMS, including a free T-Shirt redemption for bringing the QR Code to the store and having it scanned by an employee. As a result, on opening day, over 2,000 free T-Shirts were redeemed in fewer than two hours. Even luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren are no strangers to mobile marketing.  Ralph Lauren was one of the first retailers to place QR Codes on its print advertising materials when the technology was new to both the United States and Europe. Ralph Lauren continues to promote its brand through mobile apps in addition to a mobile-optimized website. These tools have helped the brand link a consumer’s mobile experience to a richer in-store engagement. These examples of well-known brands demonstrate how mobile engagement strategies are making a difference in the retail industry. As mobile marketing continues to expand, we expect to see even greater increases in mobile app activity and QR Code usage.