With the official start of the holiday shopping season now just a week away, plenty of people are starting to turn to the consideration of toy purchases for the many children in their lives. Toys 'R' Us--along with Babies 'R' Us for those with even smaller children--announced yesterday that they've revamped their mobile app and even performed a new launch to optimize the app for tablet users.
Naturally, the Toys 'R' Us, and the Babies 'R' Us, apps were redesigned with the shopper in mind, providing a set of mobile commerce options for users, whether they come with an Android device or an iOS model. Shoppers will be able to use the app in stores as well, scanning QR codes or regular bar codes with their cameras to get more information about the products in question, including reviews from other buyers. There will also be a section available for local deals, as users will be able to put in their ZIP codes, and will even have the option to save their "home store" to get rapid access to those particular deals as well.
Image via Shutterstock
As is the case with a growing number of apps these days, especially mobile shopping apps, there's also a social component involved as users can pass around their favorite things through social networks, including the usual suspects of Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. It opens up the potential for easy wish list making, and to make shopping so easy for those looking to buy toys that, essentially, all they'd have to do is check a social networking page for the user's gift of choice, then use the mobile app to buy said gift.
Toys 'R' Us, and by extension Babies 'R' Us, is making it quite clear that when the shopping experience is easy for a potential customer to work with, they're a lot less likely to just be potential customers and much, much more likely to be actual customers. Providing easy access, in the store or online, to the reviews of other customers makes it a lot more likely that the customers will find what they want, but they'll also get it home, be happy with it, and not return it later on. This is a lesson that a lot of stores could actually get some value out of; making the shopping experience better and easier for customers is a great way to better sales. With Amazon still a significant threat to brick-and-mortar operations, and the practice of "showrooming"--customers going to a store to examine an item then buying it online where the prices are better--still in place, this means stores have to get more creative in making it easier to shop with them. Toys 'R' Us looks to be doing just that.
We won't know until after Christmas if--and just how well--this actually works out for them, but it's a safe bet that they'll see better results than they would have without out the new app in place.
Edited by Brooke Neuman