Toys”R”Us has updated its mobile site to allow shoppers to use their phones to redeem electronic coupons from their phones, in-store.
Clerks at Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores in the US (yes, it’s the same company) are now equipped with barcode scanners to scan in-email barcodes that will be emailed to shopper that sign up for email newsletters. Toys”R”Us also has a SMS deals service that shoppers can opt into to get text messages on deals. The company also has an iPhone app as well.
Prama Bhatt, a VP at Toys”R”Us was quoted in a press release as saying,
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. 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.
Both Target and Starbucks also have similar programs according to Brand Week, but that said, at least in the case of Starbucks (and we’re guessing Target at some point too) those chains have supplimented their internal promotion systems with third party rewards programs, including check-in services such as Foursquare. Of course, there is also Groupon and the group buying model, and now of course there is Facebook Deals as well.
That said, if a retailer feels that it has enough of a user base, maybe going forward we’ll see more retailers trying to entrench their own mobile/check-in/group coupon solutions, like we saw recently from Walmart on Facebook. Right now, however, everything is an experiment, and as hot as this space is at the moment it’s going to be hard to do anything too wrong.