Mobile-optimised campaign drives 2,370% increase in traffic to Debenhams ‘Beauty Club Awards’

Over 40% of votes cast by mobile; key to success “moving beyond Facebook”

Results in record 5,000 new signups for Beauty Club Cards

STEEL London’s campaign wins bronze award for ‘best use of digital in retail’

The third annual Debenhams Beauty Club Awards received a 2,370% increase in traffic due to a mobile-optimised campaign which has won a bronze award for ‘Best use of Digital in Retail’ at Europe’s prestigious Digital Impact Awards.


The campaign, created by digital marketing agency STEEL London, was centred on building a mobile-friendly competition website, using Responsive Web Design (RWD), which was promoted via Facebook, Twitter and Debenhams traditional marketing routes including email and in-store.


The IAB recently showed that just 11% of the UKs 100 biggest advertisers¹ are using RWD – websites that automatically display content in the most appropriate way for whichever device a consumer is using.


The Debenhams Beauty Club Awards allow customers to share, vote for and win their favourite beauty and skincare products. In just two weeks the site had over 60,000 unique visitors – 2,730% more than the previous year.


The key to the campaign’s improvement was moving beyond Facebook as Andy Hinder, STEEL’s CEO, explains: “In previous years, the Beauty Club Awards only existed on Facebook, which limited the campaign’s reach. Facebook apps can also be difficult to present well on mobile devices. By moving beyond Facebook we could create a premium, awards ceremony-style experience which resulted in an average dwell time of almost six minutes.”


Over 27,000 people registered for the competition, placing almost 550,000 votes between them, with 41 percent of votes cast via mobile – far higher than the 14 percent² UK average. The rise in traffic resulted in a record 5,000 new signups for Debenhams Beauty Club Cards.

Lauren Crowhurst, Debenhams Beauty Marketing Manager, said: “The Beauty Club Awards have always been popular, but with this year’s completely standalone microsite, STEEL really raised the bar – achieving a 35% increase in voters. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the response, and the volume of mobile traffic has been a real eye-opener.”

Another digital campaign from STEEL for Debenhams, to promote the launch of an exclusive UK shoe collection, also picked up two awards – a silver for ‘Best use of Existing Social Media Platforms’ and a bronze for ‘Best use of Digital in Retail.’ The “Call it Spring” campaign resulted in online accounting for 44 percent of the total shoe collection sales – a practically unheard share for a product category which is particularly difficult to sell online.

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