Bath & Body Works taps mobile to strengthen social media strategy

Personal care retailer Bath & Body Works is using mobile bar codes  to strengthen its social media strategy.

Bath & Body Works is sending out direct mail pieces that promote the company?s line of fragrance products that tie in with an in-store promotion. The QR codes are being used to connect consumers to Bath & Body Works? Facebook page.

?By putting QR codes on mailers, it increases engagement and gives users an incentive to use their mobile devices,? said Murat Divringi, CEO of Dynotag, Seattle.

?QR codes can also be used to get immediate feedback about the effectiveness of a campaign,? he said.

Mr. Divringi is not affiliated with Bath & Body Works. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Bath & Body Works did not respond to press enquiries. The retailer sells bath and body products for skin and hair as well as home goods. It operates 1,600 stores in the United States.

Mobile mist
The goal behind the mobile-infused direct mail is to drive users to Bath & Body Works? locations on Feb. 11 for an in-store event where consumers can test a new line of body fragrances.

The new line of body mists come in 20 fragrances and will be available Feb. 6.

The QR codes appear in the bottom right-hand corner of the mailer with a piece of copy that reads, ?Scan here to ?like? us on Facebook.?

The Bath & Body Works mailer

Users who scan the mobile bar code are taken directly to Bath & Body Works? Facebook page where they can ?like? the brand and learn about the new products the company is promoting.

The retailer is using mobile in addition to coupons to bolster its direct mail efforts. The mailers also include two coupons that consumers can use in-store or online from Jan. 30 to March 4.

Mobile calls to action are also being used on the backside of the mailers that direct consumers to learn more about the company?s text alert program online at http://Bathandbodyworks.com.

The calls-to-action also promote Bath & Body Work?s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube programs.

"Social media can be effective but like anything else, when you overuse something, it loses its effectiveness,? Mr. Divringi said.

Scan to ?like?
This is not the first mobile initiative from Bath & Body Works.

The company recently revealed its mobile site that lets users shop from their mobile devices (see story).

By using both a mobile site and QR codes, Bath & Body Works is realizing that mobile plays an increasing integral part to retailers? digital efforts.

Additionally, tying a QR code to a social media page can be a smart move for a company looking to bolster its social media efforts.

However, QR codes also need to give consumers an extra piece of relevant content. With Bath & Body?s newly-launched mobile site, the mobile bar code might have been an effective way to push its mobile commerce transactions and drive online sales.

Since the mobile effort is being used with an in-store event, Bath & Body Works could have also linked the mobile bar code to a store locator.

?QR codes are becoming more popular, and one key example is Amazon?s price comparison app that shows people are using mobile more in-stores and has interesting implications for retailers,? Mr. Divringi said.

?Big-box retailers have to be smart about using QR codes to maintain their edge today,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York