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Toys R Us aims to increase mobile sales via iAd campaign

Toys R Us is looking to increase its mobile sales via an iAd campaign that encourages users to download its iPhone shopping application.

The Toys R Us mobile ads promote the retailer’s commerce-enabled app. When consumers tap on the ad, they can download the app to their device.

“Retailers should be in tune with their customer base to know the percentage of their mobile users that have already downloaded their app and compare that with their best customers,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“In the comparison, there should be a large-enough gap between the customers that have already downloaded their app and the customers that need to be told there is an app to download,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Toys R Us. She commented based on her expertise.

Toys R Us did not respond to press inquiries.

Click to play
The Toys R Us mobile ads are running inside apps including the Pandora iPhone app.

The mobile ads advertise the app as a free download and read, “Get the hottest toys and more.”

Consumers can download the Toys R Us app

Leading to a commerce-enabled experience from a mobile ad is a smart move for Toys R Us and is an area that more retailers are slowly adapting.

The Toys R Us mobile app lets consumers shop its online catalog on the go.

Additionally, the app includes a bar code scanning feature that lets users comparison shop while in-store, which helps drive foot traffic.

With the skyrocketing numbers of apps available, getting consumers to find, download and keep an app is a challenge that marketers consistently face.

However, click-to-download ads can be an effective vessel to educate users to discover an app.

For Toys R Us, running an iAd campaign for its iOS apps lets the company target specific device users.

Mobile toys
In the past year, Toys R Us has dabbled in many mobile commerce areas.

For example, the company recently rolled out shoppable billboards that featured QR codes (see story).

Additionally, Toys R Us has ramped up its mobile strategy with foursquare and shopkick to reward users who check-in to its locations via their mobile device.

The retailer also has apps for iPad and Android devices.

The Toys R Us mobile ads are also a way for the company to increase sales after the holiday season, which is when sales traditionally slump.

“I think with the economy the way it is currently and election year looming, there will be a lot of smarter shoppers this year, meaning a great advertising strategy for close-outs or clearance holiday items is a great idea to drive traffic through mobile,” Ms. Troutman said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York