Dear Toys 'R' Us

Dear Toys ‘R’ Us,

Even though my two boys, ages 12 and 10, are quickly aging out of your target demographic, I was excited to see you announce the new iteration of Rewards ‘R’ Us. As a mom who spent many hours and dollars at your store, here’s my wish list for how you can make it even better:

You have the ultimate database: With your baby registry, you knew exactly when my kids were born. You were the first to know when my boys moved from Fisher Price and Thomas the Tank Engine to Legos and Nerf, and now video games. With my personal information and your deep data stores, you know what kids of all ages want each season to give me guidance and offers on what to buy next. And yet you pretended that you don’t know me or my kids, sending generic coupons for diapers and formula long after we escaped that phase.

You recently announced plans for delivering a differentiated shopping experience for customers by providing gift recommendations throughout offline stores with “Here’s What’s Hot” and in-aisle “Top Gift” suggestions. I’d love it if you took a cue from Amazon recommendations and developed a mobile experience that allowed me to scan the toys my child loves and generate a list of “If he likes this, he’ll love this” recommendations, with their locations throughout the store. Take it a step further and link my in-store recommendations to my profile, thereby feeding your CRM engine so your emails to me are about what I need, not just what you want to sell.

As the #2 in retail toy sales with more than 18% of the U.S. toy market (behind Walmart, at 30%), there’s a huge opportunity for you to lead the space in lifecycle marketing – really and truly lifecycle – since you own the space from birth to tweens. While we parents think our kids are unique, books like the What to Expect series remind us that kids are kids and they have more in common than we think. Leveraging data to help find the right products at a good value as my kids grow up will also help you create a strong differentiator and tool to drive traffic online and offline. I’m hopeful that, for the next toy generation and their parents, this new program will deliver all the promise of who you are and the data you have.

Sincerely,

A Loyal Mom