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Rue La La dresses up banner ads with personalization, deep linking

Flash sales retailer Rue La La is targeting its user base on publishers' apps, including USA Today, with a banner ad featuring dynamic product suggestions based on prior searches that are deep-linked to product pages, bringing mobile users directly to the point of sale.

The suggestions are delivered to USA Today readers in the form of standard banner ads that appear in between editorial content. Since Rue La La?s inventory is constantly changing, the banner ads let readers know what is currently available for purchase.

?These ads are combining ad re-targeting with new app deeplinking capabilities,? said Brian Klais, founder and CEO of Pure Oxygen Labs. ?This makes the ad smarter and more actionable for app users. 

?Retargeting is nothing new," he said. "We are used to seeing ads for products we viewed previously on sites, like Rue La La. Now when you click the ad from mobile Web or in another mobile app, it can invoke an app-detection processor to determine if you still have the app installed, and if so, link you back into that page inside the app. 

?It's very different than old-school ads that have just a single destination URL.?

Making it easy
The ad appears in the life section of the USA Today app and contains the Rue La La logo and four products currently available for purchase in its live boutiques.

The products displayed have likely been chosen based on previous searches. When a product is clicked on, the user is redirected to the smartphone?s browser. If users have the Rue La La app downloaded, they are taken to the app and then the product page. 

Deep linking works well for Rue La La because of its design of product display. Its boutiques can often be curated selections of multiple brands and types of items. Therefore, products can be hard to locate. 

If Rue La La knows that a user has looked at a Chloe handbag before, the ad containing a similar bag tells the user that the bag is being offered again. 

Rue La La?s flash sales expire every day, and they require shoppers to stay up-to-date on what is available on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, Rue La La?s use of deep linking takes the leg work out of the process, getting them closer to making a purchase in less time.

Moving forward
Rue La La is also prioritizing app updates to increase user engagement.

Most recently, Gilt and Rue La La are retrofitting their apps with new features and functionality such as free early access to sales and pre-sellout notifications that reflect big expectations from the platforms in the year ahead.

The brands? flash-sale apps have been updated in the past month, a check of the Apple App store reveals. Besides reflecting an attempt to respond to customer feedback, the changes speak to an effort to satisfy shoppers who have become more comfortable with mobile spending and expect even greater shopping convenience (see story).

Rue La La is also dedicated to its social marketing.

Rue La La?s 2014 holiday campaign, using hashtag #RueRedBox, gave away prizes when users reposted its images of cute dogs in Rue holiday red boxes. Social users were led to participate in these social contests because reposting is an easy way to win prizes, and the images contained content they were already interested in (see story).

Rue La La continues with innovation every few months.

?Our study here showed more than 80 percent of leading retail apps do not have deep link support, and it?s interesting to note that Rue La La did not back in August, and now they do,? Mr. Klais said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York