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IKEA launches mobile loyalty program

IKEA has launched a mobile loyalty program to build a database of consumers interested in receiving discounts from the home furnishings retailer.

The text-to-enter loyalty program is a means for IKEA to start a dialogue with interested consumers. BCode is powering the texted discounts.

"We got bCode on board so we can drive more traffic in-store," said Casey Crook, marketing specialist at IKEA, Seattle. "Everything we send out is redeemable in-store."

IKEA is one of the largest home furnishings retailers worldwide, with more than 275 stores in 36 countries, including 35 in the United States.

The calls to action for the mobile loyalty program are posted online and promoted via email campaigns.
In-store signage asks consumers to text IKEA1 to short code 30364.

Texters get a message back letting them know that they will be receiving at least one IKEA message per week with deals, games and alerts.

Users can opt out by texting the word STOP to the short code 30364.

A few seconds after opting-in, consumers receive their first coupon and are instructed to bring it into the store to scan it at an IKEA mobile kiosk. The kiosks print a physical coupon.

"The reasons that IKEA chose us our service is because we are 100 percent ubiquitous," said Art Wagner, chief marketing officer of bCode, San Francisco. "The service works on all phones works on all phones."

IKEA traditionally sends out catalogs with special promotions and discounts.

The Swedish-owned company first began using mobile eight months ago, asking consumers to text-to-play on IKEA trivia. All the answers could be found in the catalog.

Valassis aided in the development of the text-to-play. This was a push for the IKEA catalog, with players having to look though, interact with and involve themselves with the catalog.

"Your mobile phone is such a personal device -- you carry it everywhere with you," Ms. Crook said.

"Our IKEA Mobile program has allowed us to communicate one-to-one with our customers about store sales, events and activities, but it's the bCode solution which has allowed us to drive customer traffic into the store," she said.

Sending potential customers coupons via their mobile phone as opposed to printed coupons is eco-friendly because the consumer only prints the coupon if he or she is interested in the offer.

"We can send offers right to their mobile device, and by scanning their bCodes at the store, customers can receive exclusive, valuable savings offers on our products," Ms. Crook said.

IKEA claims it has had very positive results in its use of the scanners.

"IKEA wants to develop a direct relationship with its customers," Mr. Wagner said. "Paper is underperforming for them and so mobile was a good option.

"The great thing about our service is that it's instant metrics," he said.