Wednesday, 2 January 2013

MeatPack 'Hijack' campaign - location-based win, or near miss?

So (as per tradition) I've resolved to blog more in 2013 - setting up Seeningreenwich last year meant Digilance has suffered a little!

First post of the 2013 is inspired by this article on Econsultancy, which spotted a location-based campaign by a Guatemalan shoe store Meat Pack. The idea behind it is that you download an add-on to its existing loyalty app called ‘Hijack’ which then rewards customers by giving them an innovative way to earn a discount.

As the Econsultacy write up puts it:

"Every time one of the ‘Sneakerheads’ entered competitor store the GPS function showed them a countdown timer and an offer for money off shoes.

The discount started at 99% off and reduced by 1% for every second that passed. The timer stopped when the user reached a Meat Pack store.

More than 600 shoppers were hijacked from the competitors within a week, with one of them getting 89% off his new trainers." 

Brilliant idea. Tempt customers away at the point of purchase, with a better offer from your rival store. The countdown timer not only means there's a sense of urgency, but introduces gamification, making the experience fun.

But there's one big problem. The app is an add-on for people who already have the loyalty app. This means they are already loyal shoppers and would have bought from Meat Pack anyway. What's to say that he die-hard "sneakerheads" have not got wind of this discount and gone to a rival store purely so they can then race back to meat pack and get a discount? (If you can't imagine this happening, just picture the scene if apple had run a similar promotion - half the offices in Old Street would be empty as employees raced between Currys and the Apple store, anxiously looking at thier iPhones...).

Ideally for maximum 'conversion', Meat Pack should instead try to target people who are not already loyal customers. There's not an obvious way to do this - even push notifications would require an app - but perhaps if they created an app that less obviously branded and just for the 'Sneaker Fan' it would be a way to get the all-important new customer. Check-ins are another opportunity and if they could somehow harness the Facebook or Foursquare check-in and run the promotion to target these, I think they'd be on to a winner. In conclusion - great idea but not quite there yet!