Toys “R” Us latest retailer to launch mobile coupons

Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us in the U.S. have launched a new holiday campaign which started on the 9th of November, two weeks before “Black Friday”, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

The retailer introduced mobile-enabled coupons with barcodes for smartphones, especially Blackberry and iPhone. This follows the launch of e-gift cards in 2009, which customers had to print out to redeem.

The coupon bar codes are sent to your phone via email when joining the Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us mailing lists. The mobile version of the email, containing the barcode, is displayed on your phone, which allows clerks equipped with barcode scanners to scan the barcode directly from your phone.

In addition Toys “R” Us recently introduced the “R” Mobile Messaging Service alerting shoppers to upcoming promotions. “This is essential to busy parents who is constantly searching for new, improved shopping solutions,” Prama Bhatt, Vice President of U.S. e-commerce, Toys “R” Us, was quoted saying in a recent press release.

The “R” Messaging Service allows the company to ensure stronger relationships with customers in a convenient way that suites both parties. This service is mostly free, with the given option of receiving information from just one or both of the participating brands (Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us). Both websites’ homepages contain a backwards, ringing “R” at the top of the page: the mobile icon.

The company markets this service via radio, in-store signage together with easy-to-follow instructions, print and online outlets and social media networks. Some of the other features currently available for the mobile-using shopper includes: making instant purchases, obtaining suggestions for gifts, locating a store and reading customer reviews before purchasing a product.

Toys “R” Us is said to be continuing to improve the functionality of its mobile app. This is yet another step in the right direction according to Michael Becker, managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association, because “20% – 30% of U.S. consumers own a smartphone.” Hopefully we’ll see a similar campaign in South Africa soon!

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