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Mobile Marketing and Commerce Strategies

Toys Will Carry QR Codes at Target This Holiday Season

Daily Insight | Sheryl Kingstone | October 5, 2012

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In an effort to better compete with online retailers like Amazon and reduce instances of showrooming, Target has a plan in place to put QR codes on popular toys this holiday season. That will allow mobile-device-carrying consumers to easily purchase the items online from Target and have them shipped.

 

According to Mashable, Target has made a concerted effort to combat showrooming recently. Shoppers will often visit brick-and-mortar retailers to scope out new items only to purchase them from an online store—more often than not it’s Amazon that ends up making the actual sale. But the news provider said customers could find the most value in Target’s new QR code program if and when items are out of stock, or the checkout lines are simply too long. In May, Target took its first shot at Amazon by dropping the latter’s Kindle line from its shelves.

 

Yankee Group Research Director Sheryl Kingstone comments

 

“Target has been openly vocal about its attempts to counter showrooming via price comparison applications. Target has many frequent smartphone shoppers. However, it’s difficult to fight online stores. Online sites are trusted more than traditional retailers.

 

Fifty-six percent of respondents say they trust online sites such as Amazon over traditional brick-and-mortar retailers for tasks such as price comparisons, which is on the rise. Forty-six percent of U.S. respondents use their smartphone to check prices or find reviews while shopping at retail stores, up 5 percent from two years ago. Consumers with higher incomes are more likely to not only use price comparisons applications, but to use the information to either buy from a different store or request a price match.

 

The $4 trillion retail business in the U.S. is being forever altered by mobile shopping applications. Retailers must embrace mobile beyond price comparison and target consumers who are not solely driven by price or risk losing customers to other e-commerce sites and local stores. Engaging mobile consumers with tools that go beyond the QR code to offer capabilities such as inventory availability, real-time personalized offers, personal shoppers and self-checkout or web-site checkout will become mandatory for differentiation.”

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