Victoria’s Secret’s New App Mobilizes Direct Mail

Latest retailer to embrace augmented reality

While a number of different retailers continue to struggle in building mobile apps that keep people coming back, Victoria’s Secret’s college-focused Pink is taking a different approach by integrating its efforts with more traditional marketing tactics. 

The lingerie retailer’s iPhone and Android app uses a smartphone’s built-in camera to scan images and pieces of marketing collateral. For example, additional digital content is unlocked by hovering a mobile device over a piece of mail, per a call-to-action that pops up when the app is first opened.

When Adweek downloaded the new app and clicked through to the augmented reality feature, a landing page showed a mobile coupon that is redeemable in-store by showing a screenshot of the offer on a phone. The coupon offered a 15 percent discount off of a new college-themed collection that will roll out in stores on July 8.

The landing page also pulled in a couple of calls-to-actions for promotions, including a new user-generated campaign targeting soon-to-be college students. The promo asks consumers to fill out an online form with an attached photo of themselves and type in where they plan to go to school in the fall.

The camera feature doubles as a photo filter that lets users (who are primarily millennials and like to snap lots of selfies) overlay digital stickers on pictures.

Victoria’s Secret has been at the forefront of mobile commerce for quite some time and actually rolled out a similar mobile feature to its main collection last year

One of the reasons why the brand leads the pack in mobile is because its app doesn’t solely focus on driving sales. Instead, the app integrates content like games and weather forecasts designed to drive repeat usage.

Victoria’s Secret did not respond to requests for comment, but Esha Shah, manager of mobile strategy and innovation at mobile marketing agency Fetch pointed out an opportunity for retailers to mimic Victoria’s Secret’s approach to help boost investments in print.

"Direct mail is still a huge part of many retailer’s businesses and marketing budgets," Shah said. "By integrating mobile technology with direct mail, Victoria’s Secret is bringing back to life a dated marketing tool. The mobile element speaks to the younger audience—it also provides a level of engagement that can be considered invaluable."

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