Debenhams makes mobile core to Beauty Clubs Awards


Debenhams updated its third annual Beauty Club Awards to make the site optimized for mobile, and in doing so, the British department store saw a 2,370 percent increase in traffic with 41 percent of the votes cast by mobile.

The campaign also resulted in 5,000 new signups for Debenhams Beauty Club Cards. Debenhams worked with digital marketing agency Steel London to create the mobile-friendly competition site with responsive design.

The previous year the Facebook app was not mobile-optimized and this obviously puts a huge barrier in the user experience, said Andy Hinder, CEO of Steel, London.

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Debenhams wanted to make it bigger and better than the year before, and so mobile optimization was top of the list, he said.

We wanted to create a full-blown awards Web site, giving it the look and feel of the Oscars and giving a more glamorous feel to the Awards.”

Beauty awards
The Debenhams Beauty Club Awards ran in February and let consumers vote for their favorite beauty and skincare products for a chance at winning those products. They could also share the products on social media.

Within two weeks of the site going live, 60,000 unique visitors came to the page, 2,730 percent more than the previous year.

Last year, the site was only accessible via Facebook, which limited the campaigns reach. By moving beyond Facebook and creating an independent microsite, Debenhams saw an overall increase in engagement, including an average time spent on the site of almost six minutes.

Another change was that in the past, consumers had to vote in every category to enter, which was a deterrence for some visitors. This year consumers could vote in as many categories as they wished with an added incentive of being able to win what they voted for.

The average consumer voted for around 20 products.

More than 27,000 people registered for the competition, achieving a 35 percent increase in voters from last year. Out of the 550,000 votes, cast 41 percent came from a mobile device.

The campaign was promoted via Facebook, Twitter, email and in-store marketing.

Responsive design
In addition to earning traffic and signups for Debenhams, the campaign also won a bronze award for Best use of digital in retail at Europes Digital Impact Awards on Oct. 30.

By adding responsive design to the annual competition, Steel and Debenhams were able to create a mobile-friendly experience that engaged consumers on mobile devices.

According to a recent report from the IAB UK, only one in nine of Britains biggest advertisers uses responsive design (see story).

Steel and Debenhams capitalized on this technology to develop content for multiple devices.

As it’s an annual event, we wanted to create something we can build on and improve year on year and RWD design is future proof, Mr. Hinder said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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