Take That Amazon! Target Adds QR Codes In Retail Stores To Help Shoppers Buy Toys On Mobile Devices

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Retail giant Target is adding a new technology to its mobile initiatives—QR Codes. Target will debut QR codes in stores for the season’s 20 most popular toys. You can use the Target mobile app to scan toy QR codes, and shoppers will be able to buy toys and ship them free anywhere in the U.S. from their phones.

So in Target stores, each of the top 20 toys of the season will have a QR code that can be scanned to purchase the toy directly using a mobile device. The retailer says that this feature can be particularly useful when a particular toy is sold out in the store. The app would allow a purchaser to just find the item online, and allows Target to keep the sale. The feature will roll out on October 14.

Target is also debuting an online and mobile toy catalog includes coupons that can be used on a guest’s total purchase. Shoppers can also create a digital Wish List that is shareable via email.

“Target is the ultimate destination for toy shopping this holiday season. Not only do we have the hottest toys, we are helping guests shop the way they want — in stores, online and directly from their mobile devices,” said Stephanie Lucy, vice president of toys, Target, said in a release. “Our in-store QR codes for this year’s top toys will add real convenience for busy moms. Now, rather than hoping the kids won’t notice when a gift is slipped into the cart, guests can scan the QR codes to buy top toys and have them shipped anywhere for free.”

There are a couple of takeaways here. First, even though reports point to QR Code fatigue amongst consumers, clearly retailers are still betting on the technology.

Last December, Amazon offered discounts to consumers on any product purchased via its price comparison mobile app. Basically, Amazon wanted consumers to scan barcodes of products at brick-and-mortar retailers via its Price Comparison app. Users would get a 5% discount on up to three items. Clearly, Target is hoping this new mobile technology will encourage shoppers to stay with Target in-stores, especially if a toy is out of stock.

Many retailers were pretty miffed about Amazon’s move last Holiday season, so it wouldn’t be surprising if we see more brick and mortar retailers launching competing technologies.