Sam’s Club Bulks Up Its App Marketing Strategy With Data-Driven Retargeting

Sam’s Club doesn’t take a wholesaler’s approach to mobile re-engagement.

“We’re always thinking about how to segment and target our users,” said Drew Frost, senior product marketing manager at the Walmart-owned, members-only retail club. “Our main focus is on finding and engaging what we call our higher-value users.”

For Sam’s Club, high value is derived from high frequency.

When customers are drawn into a Sam’s Club location by an advertised discount, that’s usually a one-off.

But when customers download the Sam’s Club app and start browsing consumables, that’s a strong indication that they’re going to become a regular patron – and those are the people Sam’s Club is gunning for.

Frost and his team spent most of last year upping installs for the Sam’s Club app and running retargeting campaigns with Liftoff, which uses lookalike targeting to identify users most likely to create an account or sign up for membership.

From there, Sam’s Club collects information about its users pegged to the device ID, like demographics and behavior, to try and figure out which ones have the most potential to become high-value users and which are likely to lapse.

With that data in hand, the focus this year shifted to retention, driving in-app actions and upping the average revenue per user by reminding users to complete half-completed tasks within the Sam’s Club app.

Sam’s Club has been testing a recently released tool from Liftoff that retargets users with dynamic product ads based on their recent in-app actions, similar in spirit to what Facebook provides with its Dynamic Ads product.

The ads are delivered programmatically through Liftoff’s mobile DSP. When users click, they’re deep-linked back into the app experience, either directly to the product page or, in some cases, the shopping cart they abandoned.

“We have a real-time feed of their product catalog along with the latest pricing information for inventory so we can dynamically serve up ads with the latest information on what’s actually available for sale,” said Dennis Mink, Liftoff’s VP of marketing.

It’s still early in Sam’s Club test of dynamic product feed retargeting, but Frost said the outcomes are positive so far.

Engagement retargeting is an increasingly central tactic in the app marketer’s playbook as the industry trends away from vanity metrics like the base number of installs and adopts deeper personalization to increase user retention.

“There’s been an evolution toward identifying users and thinking about the next step, which is what we can get those users to do,” Frost said. “With that in mind, a dynamic product listing with all the product details is really very much a natural fit for us as a retailer.”

 

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