Toys"R"Us, eBay Use Mobile to Improve the Customer Experience
In the beginning of his session at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City yesterday, Healey Cypher, head of retail innovation at eBay, asked the audience an intriguing question: Does offline even exist anymore? The days of consumers walking into a store without their smartphone are, for the most part, over. The convergence of channels has already taken place, and mobile is the chief reason why.
In light of this new reality, brands must be able to offer consumers a seamless shopping experience no matter the channel, including in-store. Toys"R"Us has embraced this trend. Noting that more than half of its digital business now comes via mobile devices, Fred Argir, senior vice president and chief digital officer for the toy retailer, joined Cypher on stage to discuss what his company is doing to capture today's connected consumers.
Toys"R"Us recently embarked on a 14-month journey to make mobile a focal point of its business. The channel has become integral to Toys"R"Us’ omnichannel strategy, but it wasn't always that way. Argir noted that the retailer was slow to adapt to mobile, and therefore sought the insight of third-party counsel, including e-commerce consulting firm FitForCommerce, to help it get up to speed.
In addition, Argir and his team — when the mobile initiative started there was one person working full-time on mobile — meet for "Monday morning mobile huddles" to discuss what's evolving in the marketplace. To illustrate how mobile's role has grown in importance at Toys"R"Us, those Monday morning meetings now fill Argir's office, he said.
We took a deep dive into what our customers wanted from their mobile experience, and they told us to keep it simple, Argir said. So that's what we did. For example, Toys"R" used interactive gift-finder kiosks in its stores this past holiday season to help parents find the gifts their children wanted. The immersive digital in-store experience paid off — 95 percent of shoppers who used the kiosk went on to make a purchase.