The Body Shop Freshens Up Its Engagement Strategy With Mobile Wallet

The Body Shop is tapping into mobile wallet as more than just a way to pay.

The cosmetics and skin care retailer will use mobile wallet to raise awareness and generate engagement for a campaign launched Wednesday as part of an effort to lobby the United Nations against product testing on animals.

The brand hopes to leverage the mobile wallet tool beyond the campaign for more personalized one-to-one communications.

For the UN campaign, the goal is to collect around 8 million signatures for the petition calling on the global organization to end product testing on animals. The petition is a joint effort between The Body Shop and animal advocacy group Cruelty Free International.

The Body Shop is hoping for a network effect. Consumers who sign the petition are brought to a landing page where they can download the “Forever Against Animal Testing” pass to their mobile wallet and easily share it with other potential supporters. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Through a partnership with mobile tech company Urban Airship, the brand will regularly update the mobile wallet pass with signature counts for the petition and news related to the fight against animal testing.

But The Body Shop’s ultimate plan is for the mobile wallet pass to endure beyond the campaign as a gateway to future and ongoing engagement. Down the line, The Body Shop will create mobile wallet passes for its loyalty program and gift cards.

Beyond eliminating the need to carry around branded plastic cards, which fits into The Body Shop’s corporate social responsibility mandate to be environmentally friendly, the passes are a sticky built-in marketing tool. Mobile wallet comes baked into a user’s device by default through Apple Pay or Android Pay.

“If we have permission, we’re able to use these passes to serve more content relevant to the campaign and also connect consumers with our other initiatives,” said Russell Longley, The Body Shop’s senior manager of CRM and digital development.

“Everyone is constantly being bombarded with so much information,” Longley said. “What mobile wallet gives us is an opportunity to deliver interesting, concise snippets of content to an audience we know is already engaged.”

Users only rarely delete a pass once they’ve downloaded it to their mobile wallet. The retention rate for passes stands between 85% and 95%, according to Urban Airship.

“Overall globally, we have more than half, about 52%, of our visits coming via mobile,” said Leona De-Graft, global head of ecommerce marketing at The Body Shop. “That obviously presents a massive opportunity for our communications when customers take the step to download our pass to their wallet.”

Consumers are also more likely to engage with content surfaced through a notification from their mobile wallet than with an ad.

“Display ads and programmatic ads are about broad reach and anonymous users,” said Judy Chan, director of product marketing for mobile at Urban Airship. “But mobile wallet is a more intimate format, and when a pass is downloaded onto a consumer’s device, a brand can start thinking about a nurture program and going from an anonymized place to a more personalized place.”

That’s The Body Shop’s intention going forward.

“We see mobile wallet as an opportunity for us to open up our communication channels with consumers and have more of a one-to-one interaction,” Longley said. “Everything we do is about deep engagement, and this is another way for us to put the customer at the center of what we do.”

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