Although personalization is no stranger to e-commerce, few retailers have embraced the concept like the colorful, made-to-order My M&M site, the customized division of McLean, Va.-based candy giant Mars Inc.
Finally, visitors select how they want their M&Ms packaged. Choices vary from a 7-oz. gift bag priced at $11.99 (this requires a three-bag purchase minimum) to a mini glass box that comes in sets of 12 for $74.99.
This setup is ideal for weddings and major events that require personalization in bulk, but the minimum requirement could easily deter a good number of regular shoppers. While it would be sweet to give your significant other a bag of personalized M&Ms for a special occasion, the site’s three-bag minimum purchase might be overkill.
Still, other retailers can learn a lot from
Retailers should also take notice of the comprehensive way in which Mars is promoting its online channel. Although the site launched in 2006, Mars is pushing it now more than ever with an extensive display of TV and online banner ads. According to Nielson Monitor-Plus, Mars spent $13 million on U.S. media for
In April, Mars named Dallas-based imc2 as its lead agency for strategic planning, creative and media work for its customized candy unit Mars Direct, as well as for My M&M’s and My Dove brands.
It’s evident that Mars is embracing rich media to lure shoppers to its site, but it doesn’t stop there—the company looks for ways to keep them there, as well. For example, on its homepage,
The site also has a variety of games, including a promotion for the new Indiana Jones and the “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” film where—as an M&M character of your choice—visitors can navigate through an underworld maze in search of the company’s latest product, Mint Crisp M&Ms. The graphics are dynamic, and so is the message.
There is no mystery to the lesson to be learned at