Successful Mobile Barcode Commerce Campaign: How Glamour Did It



Editors note: The “Point of Sale” used to be the retail counter, or the door step of a homeowner – in the case of a traveling salesperson. Now however, there is no limit to the places a consumer can decide to make a purchase.


The “Point of sale” in this article is a magazine page, a taxi cab, a wall. This technology is potentially disruptive to retail stores, the traditional supply chain, and even Internet storefronts like Amazon. We’re bound to see a lot more of it very soon.


In a campaign last year, Glamour partnered with SpyderLynk (creator of the SnapTag mobile activator) to turn magazine advertising pages into mobile shopping experiences, giving consumers the opportunity to purchase products directly from the magazine. The “Buy-it-Now” mobile commerce campaign enabled advertisers to activate a sale where and when consumers were motivated by advertising.

Consumers could purchase products on the spot throughout the magazine, without the hassle of having to go to a retail store to purchase an advertised product.  Rather, they could receive incentives such as free shipping, samples, and product discounts for buying directly from the pages of the magazine, and have the products delivered to their doorstep.




To build awareness around the mobile commerce issue, Glamour worked with its advertisers to generate buzz by creating and unveiling additional mobile shopping experiences prior to the magazine’s launch of mobile commerce. Glamour worked with one of its premier advertisers, L’Oréal USA, to create a mobile shopping experience in “Taxi Shops” during NYC’s Fashion Week and also created a “shoppable” outdoor wall dubbed the Apothecary Wall. Both provided consumers with the ability to purchase products while in NYC at the height of the fashion season and allowed consumers to get a “sneak peek” of what would be in the mobile commerce issue—an issue packed with “Buy-it-Now” SnapTags.


The overarching objectives of the campaign were to extend the reach of the printed page, build brand affinity for both the magazine and its advertisers, engage with consumers via mobile, and drive incremental sales for advertisers.Glamour3


By printing SnapTags in the magazine, advertisers were able to extend the time they spent with readers beyond the page and create an interactive mobile experience. Using the mobile platform, advertisers were able to offer readers additional value, increasing brand affinity. Finally, by directly connecting consumers to an opportunity to buy products advertised on the printed page, advertisers gave readers a convenient way to browse and shop for products and make instant purchases at the time of interest, increasing incremental sales for the brands.


Glamour2By integrating a mobile wallet into the shopping experience, advertisers were also able to track consumer actions and purchases. For example, not only could brands see the products that consumers purchased together in the same transaction, but also the products consumers purchased at a later date, giving brands valuable information about shopping preferences and habits.


SpyderLynk and Glamour developed and launched a mobile commerce solution that provided a seamless user interface making it easy for consumers to use, yet engaging and with enough complexity to give brands the back-end information and analytics they were looking for.


The L’Oréal Taxi Shops launched and ran throughout Fashion Week in early February 2012. Taxis traveling in Fashion Week hot spots were beautifully transformed into Yves Saint Laurent and Lancôme mobile shops that featured customized taxi tops, backseat “clings” featuring Shop-The-Look SnapTags, and taxi TV programming that offered exclusive content featuring an intro from Glamour editor, Susan Cernek, and original Glamour trend videos featuring Yves Saint Laurent and Lancôme make-up artists. Consumers snapped the SnapTag and entered payment and shipping information to check out and could even save the information in a fully encrypted mobile wallet to make safe and secure future purchases. Consumers could then share their experience with friends on Facebook, creating an opportunity for social shopping.


Engaging the fashion community, Glamour and L’Oréal had Fashion Week’s most buzz-worthy personalities ride in the taxi shops. 66 percent of riders posted a status or photo update about the taxi on Facebook or Twitter and 94 percent felt the experience showed Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent as innovative beauty brands and made them feel more positively about the brands.


The Glamour Apothecary Wall, also launched during Fashion Week, featured products of several  advertisers including C.O. Bigelow, Johnson and Johnson, and Unilever. Modeled after Tesco’s program in South Korea, Glamour’s shoppable wall sought to introduce Glamour and SpyderLynk’s mobile innovation and enable shopping on the streets of NYC, allowing pedestrians to purchase products right then and there with a snap of the Buy-It-Now SnapTag. This innovative program allowed brands to engage and offer products to consumers in a way that fit into their on-the-go lifestyles.


Consumers could purchase products directly from the wall, without the hassle of having to enter a store and carry the products around with them. Rather, the products were delivered to their doorstep. As with the Taxi Shops, consumers simply snapped the Buy-It-Now SnapTags and entered payment and shipping information. They could save the information in a fully encrypted mobile wallet to make safe and secure future purchases and could share their experience with friends on Facebook.Glamour6



Following up these successful events, Glamour launched its important March issue, filled with Buy-it-Now opportunities, allowing brands to truly monetize their advertising. The magazine featured Buy-it-Now opportunities from twenty-one advertisers including brands like Aveeno, Revlon, and Sperry Top-Sider. Glamour and its advertisers were able to combine commerce and social into one seamless consumer experience. Using Buy-it-Now SnapTags, brands could use their advertising space to engage consumers and drive sales. (Glamour advertisers offered magazine readers the opportunity to follow them on Facebook, receive discounts, and purchase products.)


The multi-faceted campaign results clearly demonstrated that consumers liked engaging with brands via mobile.  During the time the taxi, wall, and magazine promotions were live (five days, seven days, and a month, respectively), the program generated nearly 4,000 “snaps” for advertisers. Of the consumers who snapped, 5.3 percent of them purchased products, representing a conversion rate much higher than traditional advertising. The initiatives resulted in the sale of 524 products.Glamour5


What’s more, advertisers gained important insights about what works (and doesn’t work) in mobile advertising. The highest conversion rates were enjoyed by those advertisers that offered “how-to” tips or offered complementary products (for instance, shampoo and conditioner or eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner to create a certain look.) In the case of the Taxi Shops, one of every three riders snapped a tag and of those, a quarter of them purchased products, representing an overall purchase conversion rate of 7 percent.


The Glamour mobile commerce campaign is a great example of how careful planning and execution of a mobile barcode solution can deliver real value to consumers and yield great results for brand marketers. Glamour developed and executed an exciting campaign to engage with consumers that deployed a myriad of mobile tools offered by SpyderLynk from mobile couponing and social sharing to mobile commerce.

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