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Why In-Store Promo URLs Should Always Be Mobile

July 22, 2013

Recently I was at Lowe’s with my kids. They were so excited when they saw this sign for Lowe’s “Build and Grow”, a free weekend activity for kids to build something fun with their parents. Since this one was Cars-themed, that made it all the more exciting. Because it was only a few days before the event, I knew we’d have to sign up right away or all the spots would be filled. So what did I do? I whipped out my iPhone to sign up right there on-the-spot. The result was a bad user experience: the Lowe’s Build and Grow website is not mobile friendly. Not only that, but it redirected me to a 404 page that it didn’t even exist! And there was no option view the full non-mobile site either.

Lowe's user experience FAIL

What a tragedy. This is a great lesson for any retailer: every in-store promotion that accompanies a url should work on mobile devices. And if it can’t, give the user the option to use it anyway by serving the full desktop version. At the very least, provide a graceful error message or explanation. Side note: it really should have used a QR code to get me to the site.