CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
Another retailer launches an iPad app in the hopes of boosting holiday sales.
Toys ‘R’ Us Inc., No. 37 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, launched today two versions of an app for the iPad—one for kids and one for adults. With the children’s version, kids can browse the pages of “The Great Big Christmas Book” sans prices, and drag items they want into a virtual gift box to create a wish list for parents. The adult app shows parents their children’s picks and pricing information. Parents can then edit the lists and e-mail them to friends and family. The apps are not commerce-enabled. Shoppers must visit ToysRUs.com to make a purchase.
In addition to app form, the retailer’s holiday catalog also is available on the company’s Facebook fan page and online at Toysrus.com/ChristmasBook. On Facebook, Toys ‘R’ Us fans can “like” items featured in the catalog and share product links with Facebook friends. The online version of the catalog enables shoppers to flip through the book as if they were holding it in their hands and search for products and deals by brand, age and category. All the digital versions of “The Great Big Christmas Book” offer additional product information and links to online reviews. Some items also include links to videos.
Toys ‘R’ Us isn’t the first retailer to leverage the iPad for its holiday marketing efforts. Upscale retailer Neiman Marcus launched this month an iPad app for its own well-known “Christmas Book.” That app enables shoppers to access and order gifts featured in the book.
In addition to the digital versions, “The Great Big Christmas Book” also was distributed in newspapers nationwide yesterday as a paper catalog. The book contains 80 pages of toys and promotes discounts available at Toys ‘R’ Us stores through Nov. 24. Toys ‘R’ Us is promoting the book in national television ads on major networks.
The book is just one part of the toy retailer’s holiday marketing strategy. Toys ‘R’ Us announced this month plans to launch a buy online, pick-up in store in time for the holidays that will allow shoppers to buy any of more than 7,500 items online and pick them up in 260 Babies ‘R’ Us and select Toys ‘R’ Us bricks-and-mortar stores in such major U.S. metropolitan areas as Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, DC. The retailer says it will guarantee that the products will be available within two hours.