Mobile Shopping Apps Get in Gear for Christmas


As the New York Times recently reported, mobile apps are all the rage this holiday season — shopping on cellphones and iPads accounted for about 5% of online sales in November, while last year mobile sales were too tiny to measure. This fairly new technology has become the latest “it” add-on among major brands like Sears and Express looking to amp up promotions this holiday season. And for good reason — in an era when everything from cars to shoes to diamonds can now be purchased right from your smartphone, jumping on opportunities like Christmas can be a crucial factor in upping holiday sales.

Sears recently launched two coinciding holiday-themed campaigns, “Guaranteed White Christmas” and “Be the Santa You Want to Be” — both mobile banner ads directed toward product pages on the retailers’ Web site. “Guaranteed White Christmas” ads can also be found on the Weather Channel’s iPhone app, promoting a contest in collaboration with Sears that awards one winner a $15,000 on what the Channel hopes – by the looks of its ads – will be a snow-covered Christmas morning. The “Be the Santa” campaign, which pertains to different aspects of Santa’s personality, drives all clicks back to Sears’ e-commerce site when accessed via smartphone.

Mall-based retailer Express has also revamped its mobile app, which launched in August, for Christmas. The site now allows consumers to purchase products directly from their phone. It also includes the ability to create holiday wish lists, track packages, and take advantage of geo-targeted “Proximity Perks” that alerts users of store promotions based on their location. “Mobile…provides another touch point for our customer to interact with the product,” explained Express’ VP Jim Wright.

Aside from plugging a clear attempt to boost last-minute sales, it is nice to know that retailers are still looking out for on-the-go gift-givers: Express is currently offering free shipping to its mobile customers.

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