ECOMMERCE

Toys ‘R’ Us implements enhanced mobile functionality for holiday season

BY CSA STAFF

Wayne, N.J. Toys “R” Us said Tuesday that it has introduced several new advancements in its mobile technology capabilities, providing multichannel shoppers with new ways to learn about and take advantage of “R”Us promotions on their mobile devices.

As part of these enhancements, the retailer said it has adopted a coupon barcode scanning technology in Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores across the country and has implemented a mobile messaging program, presenting shoppers with the ability to receive exclusive text message offers directly to their mobile phones.

“Mobile phones are an integral part of busy moms’ and dads’ lifestyles, and we are always looking for exciting new ways to engage and present them with the most streamlined, on-the-go shopping solutions,” said Prama Bhatt, VP, general manager, U.S. e-commerce, Toys “R” Us. “Expanding our mobile offerings to include coupon barcode scanning and mobile messaging allows us to build stronger relationships with our customers while providing added convenience.”

Toys “R” Us said both Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us nationwide are now equipped with coupon barcode scanners, which allow store associates to scan customers’ mobile email coupons straight from their mobile devices. Customers who are members of “R”Us mailing lists will begin to receive mobile-enabled coupons. When the mobile version of an email is displayed on a smartphone, print coupons are converted into an easily readable format, which can be scanned in-store from the shopper’s phone screen.

In 2009, the company unveiled electronic gift certificates, which allowed shoppers to send gift cards to intended recipients via email, which they then could print and use in-store or online. Now, recipients of eGift cards with Internet-enabled phones can retrieve their eGift card bar code sent to their email and have it scanned in-store at the point-of-sale.

“R” mobile messaging will allow subscribers to receive notifications and exclusive offers directly to their mobile devices. And mobile shopping allows Blackberry or iPhone users to shop by phone.

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GSMA announces latest speaker lineup for Mobile World Congress

BY CSA STAFF

LONDON The GSMA announced that the CEOs of Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, RIM, SoftBank and Yahoo! will be making keynote speeches at Mobile World Congress, which will be held Feb. 14 to 17, 2011 in Barcelona.

“The 2011 Mobile World Congress features an unparalleled lineup of keynote speakers from companies spanning the full mobile communications ecosystem,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer, GSMA. “Attendees will have access to the individuals and organisations who are leading the mobile transformation, gaining important perspectives and insights on the future of communications.”

 

Recently confirmed Mobile World Congress keynote speakers are:

 

    * Paul Otellini, president and CEO, Intel     * Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft     * Stephen Elop, president and CEO, Nokia     * Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO, NTT DoCoMo     * Jim Balsillie, co-CEO, Research In Motion     * Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, SoftBank     * Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo!

 

Previously announced speakers include:

 

    * Daniel Hajj, CEO, America Movil and Telcel     * Randall Stephenson, chairman, CEO and president, AT&T     * Li Yue, president and CEO, China Mobile     * Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google     * Peter Chou, CEO, HTC     * Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO, Qualcomm     * Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square     * Evan Williams, co-founder, Twitter     * Vittorio Colao, chief executive, Vodafone     * Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive, WPP

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One size does not fit most

BY CSA STAFF

Apparel sales at Target were weak in October, registering a decline in the low single-digit range, while sales at competitors with greater exposure to apparel were mixed. For example, Macy’s registered a 2.5% comp increase, but such rivals as Dillard’s, JCPenney and Kohl’s posted declines of 1%, 1.9% and 2.5% respectively. Meanwhile, such off-price chains as Ross Stores and TJX Companies continue to show strength and exceeded their sales plans. Ross gained 4% and TJX results, although flat for the month, were at the high end of the company’s guidance that was tempered by a double digit gain the prior year. The strongest performance was turned in by retailers who appeal to more affluent shoppers. Saks reported an 8.1% increase and Nordstrom posted a 3.4% increase.

 

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