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Shoe Carnival steps into beacon marketing via mobile wallet offers

In a significant step forward for its mobile local strategy, Shoe Carnival recently optimized its store location pages for mobile, driving a 200 percent increase in on-page interactions, and began testing mobile wallet offers to connect with shoppers via beacons. 

The footwear retailer, which operates more than 400 retail locations, is scaling its local search marketing using SIM Partners? local marketing automation platform Velocity with the goal of driving incremental in-store traffic and sales. The chain is making local store data actionable and local store content scalable to drive contextually relevant customer experiences on mobile, thereby driving in-store traffic and online sales. 

?Mobile plays a huge role in Shoe Carnival?s local shopping search strategy -- both from a customer experience and customer acquisition point of view,? said Todd Beurman, senior vice president of marketing at Shoe Carnival. ?Ensuring the best experience across the buyer journey is a top priority for Shoe Carnival, and that journey often begins with a local ?near me? search on a mobile device. 

?To convert those searches to in-store sales, our store locations need to be visible in the moments where and when people are looking for them,? he said. ?We are treating our location data as a scalable asset to capitalize on these mobile moments by creating contextual content and experiences. Since optimizing our store location pages with Velocity, we have seen mobile on-page interactions increase by over 200 percent in a thirty-day period.?

Local stores
Using SIM Partners' Velocity platform, Shoe Carnival is able to cleanse and distribute its store location data to ensure visibility and accuracy across listings in local and mobile search results, online directories, maps and more. 

Using Velocity?s location publishing capabilities, Shoe Carnival?s search and mobile-optimized store location pages feature unique content for each store and a responsive store locator.

Wallet offers
Shoe Carnival is also testing wallet offers in key locations, leveraging shoppers? mobile wallet to help turn searches for nearby stores into store purchases. 

Once downloaded to a consumer?s mobile device, mobile wallet offers can be redeemed in-store as well as used for location-based GPS and beacon notifications. 

Using Velocity?s reporting and insights capabilities, Shoe Carnival will measure the success of its efforts at the individual store, regional and national levels. 

Mobile local search
The program addresses how consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to search for nearby stores. 

Shoe Carnival points to recently released Google data to underscore the importance of location-driven marketing, with the search giant reporting that words and phrases such as ?near me,? ?closest,? and ?nearby? increasingly common across search queries. Google reports that search interest in ?near me? queries has increased 34 times since 2011, and nearly doubled in the last year.

The importance of mobile is reinforced by SIM Partners, which reports that nearly 80 percent of local shopping searches convert via mobile. 

?Mobile wallet offers enable Shoe Carnival to accelerate the path from mobile search to the register, while creating a seamless experience for the consumer,? Mr. Beurman said. ?They give us the ability to track and measure the link between online search and offline sales. Once downloaded on a consumer?s device, mobile wallet offers also give Shoe Carnival stores the ability to connect with shoppers via GPS notifications and beacons.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York