South Korean discount chain E-Mart deployed a fleet of ‘flying stores’ around Seoul as part of a retail promo aimed at the city’s time-pressed workers. Addressing the fact that South Koreans work the longest hours in the world, the retailer teamed up with marketing agency Cheil Worldwide to encourage consumers to shop from the E-Mart site while in transit. E-Mart’s truck-shaped balloons – branded with the company’s bright yellow signature colour palette – were each equipped with a wi-fi router that provided free internet access as they floated through shopping malls, trains and other public spaces. Shoppers could quickly connect to the wi-fi hotspots via their mobiles to download the E-Mart app and purchase items immediately from its mobile site.
During the month of the promotion, downloads of E-Mart’s app rose to 50,000 while its mobile sales more than doubled. The retailer also felt the benefits of this campaign offline, as coupons downloaded from the balloons drove a sales increase of 9.5% in its stores.
The high penetration of mobile devices (against PC ownership) in Korea means its population is especially well-primed for this mode of shopping. When Tesco tapped into this market with its 30 *digital pop-up ‘walls’ in Seoul’s subway and bus stops, the associated app amassed 1.1 million downloads over a two- to three-month period.
Check the case study video