Timberland (1)‘Gifted’ brands in our 2014 Digital IQ Index: Sportswear report Timberland and Vans are using technologies to target and gather information from consumers while they shop brick-and-mortar stores. Timberland is present on the app Swirl, which offers users discounts in exchange for sharing their location. For example, a customer walking by a Timberland store will receive a store credit or discount coupon. Users can select which stores they would like to receive notifications from. Coach, Banana Republic, Burberry and Express are other brands present on Swirl, which claims a 75% in-store app open rate. Swirl also offers in-store sensors to participating, so they can send discounts to shoppers based on their in-store location.


Vans ran a short-term campaign with Mobiquity, a blue-tooth technology that sends push notifications about in-store deals to mall shoppers, during the 2013 back-to-school shopping season. Mobiquity places sensors in malls to identify which mobile users have Bluetooth technology and send them notifications about discounts. Users can then opt-in to receive more notifications. Vans’ ten-day campaign reported a 75% engagement rate and 3,364 downloads of 20,881 prompts.


So far, there seems to be a tradeoff between the two apps. Consumers will most likely prefer Swirl’s targeted approach, which requires them to opt in and choose stores before receiving notifications. The Mobiquity approach of targeting every person can create backlash, but also new customers. Overall, the apps open the door for true multichannel retail: customizing apps, mobile sites, and offers based on consumers’ offline and online habits.

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