Toys R Us Gets Mobile and Social

Apps, mobile Web sites and text alerts – oh my!

Toys “R” Us is pushing their brand on mobile this holiday season in a big way.  From the simple to the uber-cool, socially hip, Toys “R” Us wants your business.  While they’ve always had an email club offering their traditional “12 days” of  email-club-only deals,they are now offering so much more with what looks like a well thought-out campaign.

Text Me!

Text alerts are still the rage. On the Toys “R” Us mobile site, you can enter your phone number to get special deals on your phone via SMS.  Putting the message directly in the customers hands via SMS is something so simple. Why aren’t more brands doing it?

Getting Mobile

With smart phone use continuing to climb, well-connected shoppers are grabbing their mobile browsers to comparison shop right in the aisles.  Having a good mobile site makes that easier on your customers.  Having a well-built app works, too.  Toys “R” Us has both.  Blackberry and iPhone users can enjoy either; Android users need their browser.

Check In, Get a Geoffrey Badge

As the fine folks at About FourSquare reported this morning,  on the eve of Black Friday, Toys “R” Us will open at 10pm and give the first 3,000 people to check-in to a Toys “R” Us the “Geoffrey the Giraffe” badge, which brings a 15% discount. Toys “R” Us has the full press release online.

There’s More Than One App For That

So while a mobile shopping app helps, Toys “R” Us has gone a few more steps further.  Who doesn’t remember sitting around as a kid looking at the “Great Big Christmas Book” catalogs from various retailers?  Toys “R” Us has not only put it online, but also made it into a free iPad app. So hand your children your iPad and have them curl up on the couch with the magical device that now sports the magic of holiday toy catalogs.  If they can’t take turns, download the Toys “R” Us / Toy Story 3 Game iPhone/iPod touch app while they wait.

While this is an entire strategy, unlike the Radio Shack holiday campaign, it still sets the brand above and beyond most retailers.