SAN DIEGO - Since launching a loyalty marketing program based on consumers' cell phones in late September, Broadway Marketplace, a one-store operator in Cambridge, Mass., has enrolled 1,700 shoppers and boosted loyalty sales 30% per month, using text messages to reach shoppers, according to its owner.
The owner, Charlie Bougas, discussed the program at Food Marketing Institute's Marketechnics show, held at the Convention Center here Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. "We have a transient [student] population, so a traditional loyalty card program was out of reach," he said. "Mobile marketing has leveled the playing field" with the chains the store competes with, including several Whole Foods Market stores.
To sign up for the program, which is managed by MobileLime, Watertown, Mass., shoppers simply provide their name, cell phone number and e-mail address. Each week they receive an electronic circular via e-mail containing 50 to 100 items on special. They receive automatic discounts for those items at the point of sale when they present their cell phone number.
Working with MobileLime, Broadway Marketplace is tracking loyalty purchases in order to fine-tune future promotions, Bougas said. The store is also sending SMS text messages about specific promotions to shoppers who opt to receive them.
In the next month or two, Bougas plans to allow shoppers to pay at the POS by placing a pre-authorization call and providing the cashier with the last four digits of their cell phone number, which is linked to a payment method such as credit, debit or check.
In one promotion for a Samuel Adams beer-tasting event, Broadway Marketplace followed an e-mail notice with reminder text messages the day of the event. "The results were amazing," Bougas said. "Hundreds of people came into the store, responding directly to the text message. We signed up 75 new members to our wine club."
The store also used text messages to remind shoppers about a 50%-off promotion for its hot food and salad bars. "The store did 20% higher sales at the bars," Bougas said. "It was a big win for us."