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Toys “R” Us shoppers have high mobile capacity: report

November 25, 2013

The Toys "R" Us app

Toys “R” Us, Amazon and Target attract shoppers with the highest mobile capacity, according to a report from Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The “Prosper Mobile Aptitude Scores for Toy Retailers” report looked at the top toy retailers’ average shoppers to determine which retailers had more mobile-minded shoppers. While Toys “R” Us, Amazon and Target scored the highest, Walmart, Kohl’s and Kmart’s shoppers showed lower mobile aptitude levels than the general population.

“Mobile technology can be a little tricky for retailers,” said Chrissy Wissinger, director of communications at Prosper Insights & Analytics, Worthington, OH. “On one hand it provides a great vehicle to communicate with consumers anytime, anyplace.

“Being able to access coupons from a retailer Web site or personal email can be extremely convenient,” she said. “Some retailer apps are allowing people to search, save and scan discounts from a smartphone at checkout, making getting the best price that much easier.

“On the other hand, it allows consumers to shop around without having to leave the store. So retailers such as Toys “R” Us or Best Buy are ending up as a showroom for consumers who want to interact with a product and then do a quick price check to see if they can get it cheaper somewhere else.”

Mobile aptitude
Prosper determined each retailer’s shoppers by asking respondents to indicate the which retailer they shop at the most often for at least one merchandise category.

To score the retailers, Prosper used 100 as the standard aptitude level of the general population. A score of 105 indicates a mobile aptitude 5 percent higher than the general population.

The score is determined by analyzing various mobile shopping and mobile usage behaviors to show how mobile savvy consumers are. Respondents were asked about mobile ownership, app usage, coupon redemption, comparison shopping, researching products and purchasing products.

Toys “R” Us scored the highest among toy retailers with a 137.6. Amazon came in second with 121.7, and Target in third with 117.4.

“Since Toys “R” Us shoppers tend to be more affluent and have kids, they have both the means and motivation to be more mobile-savvy,” Ms. Wissinger said. “They are using their devices to research products and compare prices more, which is driving their aptitude. These shoppers are squeezing the most out of their family budgets and are employing mobile technology to help them do it.”

Kmart came in last place with 70.6, Kohl’s at 88.1 and Walmart at 98.0.

More than 40 percent of Toys “R” Us shoppers plan to research products and compare prices on their phones. Additionally, more than 20 percent plan to redeem coupons and purchase products on their phones.

The results of the reports mean that Toys “R” Us, Amazon and Target should really feel the pressure to get it right on mobile. Since their shoppers have higher mobile aptitudes, it means that they expect more from the retailers on mobile.

The results also point to showrooming behaviors being prevalent in those top retailers, which can be somewhat intimidating for retailers.

However, a recent report from SeeWhy shows that showrooming may not actually be cause for concern for retailers.

The report showed that shoppers who use mobile devices for showrooming are almost twice as likely to buy from the store they are currently in as opposed to a competitor.

The report also showed that 33 percent of respondents who owned a mobile device had used it to showroom, and twelve percent use it routinely.

When asked what they use their mobile device for in-store, 35 percent of respondents said to look for cheaper prices, 34 percent said to read reviews, 27 percent to check prices online for the same retailer and 27 percent to look for promo codes. Additionally, 16 percent checked the stock for an item on their phone while in a store.

SeeWhy also found that showroomers tend to be young, urban, affluent men. Thirty-six percent of this segment showroomed, and they were twice as likely to use their devices routinely while shopping.

“[Retailers] shouldn’t be afraid of [showrooming], they should embrace it,” said Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer of SeeWhy, Boston. “These are online shoppers coming into the store. Having a mobile device means that they can read content and reviews. Therefore, it gets them more comfortable with a purchase, particularly a tech purchase, it makes a ton of sense.

“That means providing free Wi-Fi and providing labels with QR codes with links to reviews so you’re making it very easy for that to be accessible,” he said. “If you have employees roaming the aisles with tablets make sure they have access to all these reviews. The retailer needs to provide all the same shopping methods that we use online in the store environment.

“And that’s a way of neutralizing the online environment. Then you have a compelling advantage because I can now have an online and offline experience. I can buy online and pick up in-store, all those things should be an advantage which gives the multichannel retailer a competitive advantage over the online field.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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