About a year ago, Starbucks began testing a mobile coupon program, and Target launched one back in February. Mobile coupons allow consumers to toss away their clipped, or printed coupons and gift cards and have barcodes scanned directly from their smartphones.
Now comes word that Toys R Us is joining the mobile marketing trend.
The toy retailer is equipping its stores with scanners that can read coupon and gift-card bar codes on mobile phones and is launching a text messaging program alerting shoppers to deals.
“It’s a really powerful program and right in the sweet spot,” said Michael Becker, managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association. Becker said 20-30 percent of U.S. consumers have a smartphone.