Cold Stone Creamery launches Facebook eGifting solution powered by First Data
Atlanta First Data, a leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, and Cold Stone Creamery have teamed up to offer a new gifting application through Facebook whereby Cold Stone customers can now quickly and easily send a tangible “item-level” gift (e.g., ice cream creations, shakes) to a friend or loved one’s Facebook account or e-mail address.
Cold Stone Creamery, with more than 1,300 U.S. locations, is the first merchant to launch a gifting program using First Data’s eGift solution. Unlike other solutions in the marketplace, Cold Stone customers benefit from the convenience of being able to gift multiple small items to one or more recipients with a single transaction, according to First Data.
“We’re making it easier for people to share a Cold Stone moment, even if time or distance prevents them from being together. Now you don’t have to wait for special occasions to share ice cream; you can send Cold Stone gifts instantly, any day, just because,” said Daniel Beem, president of Cold Stone Creamery.
Consumers can access the First Data eGift Social application through Cold Stone’s Facebook page or website and select one or multiple friends to send gifts to; either by adding them from Facebook or entering their e-mail address. The sender selects which product they would like their friend to receive, adds a personal message and proceeds through the secure checkout process.
The recipient then receives a Facebook message, e-mail or both, with an alert that they have received a gift, the account number and redemption instructions. Visiting any participating Cold Stone location, the recipient redeems the eGift item in a flavor of their choice by using the account number at the point of sale.
Scentiments.com embraces predictive ad displays
Scentiments.com — a family-owned, fragrance retail business with three brick-and-mortar locations and an e-commerce site — is taking an innovative approach to online advertising. With the help of a new predictive remarketing solution, the Coconut Creek, Fla.-based company is reaching out to customers with personalized and targeted display ads on popular Internet sites, such as NYdailynews.com.
Scentiments recently turned to Redwood City, Calif.-based MyBuys — a provider of personalized recommendations for multichannel retailers — to predict what online shoppers want to purchase and target them with compelling ads.
“Just as no two consumers are the same, no two ads are the same,” said Howard Wyner, president of Scentiments. “This was appealing because it really narrows in on what our customers want; they are shown products that specifically cater to their preferences and interests.”
While other remarketing solutions advertise based on the last item the consumer viewed, MyBuys takes a proactive approach by leveraging insights gathered from its experience with Web personalization. It monitors what Scentiments’ customers have been looking at online and then presents them with banner ads personalized for their taste.
With the implementation of the new service, which hit the market in May, the site experienced immediate results. In fact, Scentiments saw a 623% return on ad spend from the service soon after the solution was implemented.
“As soon as the service was turned on, more orders started to come through,” Wyner said.
However, Scentiments is no stranger to working with MyBuys. In 2008, the retailer reached out the company to generate web recommendations and email alerts for its customer base. The alerts brought consumers to Scentiments.com to find relevant, motivating web recommendations for fragrances that fit their personal preferences.
The combination continues to deliver results: The e-mail conversion rate is 16%, while overall site revenue is up 11% and sales of the most popular items are up 56%.
“We have seen an outstanding return-on-investment from MyBuys on our website and through e-mail, and now, using its comprehensive understanding of our customers to predict what they are going to buy, MyBuys is turning our ad spend into increased sales,” Wyner said.
Scentiments is also leveraging other forms of technology, including social networking, to stay competitive online.
“We’ve found great success with Facebook — much more so than Twitter,” Wyner said. “We love that our shoppers can write on our wall, ‘like’ our products and share news about our brand with their friends without a 130-character limitation.”
Scentiments feels so strongly about the medium that it recently incorporated Facebook onto every product page to encourage shoppers to interact with them on the social networking site.
“We want our customers to interact us as we recommend, predict and keep them close to our brand and the products they want,” Wyner said. “The implementation of all of this technology has been a natural progression for us. It’s been a great step forward.”
Walmart, P&G partner for second family film
Walmart is teaming up with Procter & Gamble again for the made-for-TV family movie, The Jensen Project. The film will premiere on July 16 on NBC and follows the two companies first joint movie project, Secrets of the Mountain.
According to a press release, The Jensen Project tells the story of Claire and Matt Thompson, two former scientists who return to The Jensen Project after a 16-year absence and find themselves on a mission to keep a potentially-dangerous technology from falling into the wrong hands.
“We were touched by the hundreds of thank you letters and the outpouring of support we received for Secrets of the Mountain,” said Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer at Procter & Gamble. “We’re pleased to be able to present American families with The Jensen Project, another program they can all watch and enjoy. Our ongoing partnership with Walmart furthers our commitment to serve consumers and provide entertainment that brings families together.”
Athird movie, AWalk in My Shoes is already in post-production and will air later this year, the companies reported. P&G and Walmart will also begin production on their fourth movie this fall.