Bass Pro Shops hires Transaction Wireless for mobile gift card program

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Outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops has tapped mobile commerce and marketing firm Transaction Wireless to create its first mobile gift card program, which will go live in next year's first quarter.

Bass now offers physical gift cards, which can be purchased in-store or online. When the mobile program launches next year, consumers will be able to customize online gift cards by incorporating personalized text, videos and voice messages. Once they do so, the user enters the recipient's mobile number and e-mail address, and the digital card will be sent to both mobile and e-mail inboxes. Users will also be able to schedule what date and time the card will be sent.

To use the virtual card, the recipient can bring his or her mobile phone — or, if the mobile phone doesn't allow graphics, the e-mail printout — to the store. Recipients can also check their gift card balances via text.

Bruce Springer, president and CEO of Transaction Wireless, said the mobile coupon program is also a way for Bass to grow its e-mail and mobile databases.

“When the consumer receives the card, they can opt-in to receive additional promotions [from Bass] either through mobile or e-mail,” he said.

The retailer can then send communications via e-mail or text that are personalized based on previous purchases or geographic location.

Springer said the purchase and delivery processes are cheaper and faster than traditional gift cards and that consumers can use the cards as long as they have Internet access. “People don't go anywhere without their cell phone,” he said, adding that the program also prevents users from losing or breaking their cards.

A Bass representative did not return inquiries for comment.

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