Source: Mastermind Toys/the Toy Book

Mastermind Toys CEO Sarah Jordan discussed curbside pickup, the retailer’s “virtual verified” programs, and more with the Toy Book.

The Toy Book: More consumers are relying on curbside pickup, same-day delivery, and online shopping than ever before. How has this affected the way you do business?
Sarah Jordan: As Canada’s authority on play, we pride ourselves on offering a best-in-class shopping experience in our 68 stores coast-to-coast and our wonder-filled website. While navigating various regional restrictions, we’ve been focused on creating a seamless and consistent experience for our customers. A year ago, these omnichannel options didn’t exist for a lot of retailers, especially specialty ones, so accelerating our digital transformation plans and communicating shopping options to customers has been a constant priority.

In response to new restrictions, we quickly launched a contactless curbside pick-up option with an industry-leading, one-hour promise. Anticipating further lockdowns, we redirected store traffic by launching our Woo-hoo! HQ, a dedicated experience zone for customers picking up online orders and a destination for our signature wrapping paper.

Underpinning these changes was the relaunch of our website, redesigning it to provide a better shopping experience for customers. Extended customer service hours, a digital gift finder tool, and increased customer communications are just a few ways we’ve adapted to the shift in shopping habits.

TB: How have your digital and marketing strategies shifted based on the change in consumer shopping habits?
SJ: Mastermind Toys is a customer-obsessed retailer; we act on insights rooted in what’s happening in the customer’s life in real time. Throughout the pandemic, we constantly challenged ourselves to find ways to better serve our customers, including the launch of Storytime Live in March, and our Camp Close to Home campaign in July. We believe in being a resource for parents, kids, and families who are experiencing time away from loved ones by providing play recommendations that are “virtual verified.” Through this campaign, we’re reimagining the ways in which we can connect with each other, with fun ideas for online birthdays, virtual playdates, and video calls with grandparents using products that make sense in an online context.

The launch of “virtual verified” is part of our current focus on creating a digital experience that mirrors the wonder and delight our customers are used to finding in our physical stores. With so much of our life moving to digital, parents are looking for ways to keep their kids active and engaged. We believe that “play is kids’ work,” and we select toys, books, and games that support child development at every age and stage. As we innovate how we speak to our customers and show up for them, our brand purpose remains at the core of everything we do.

This State of the Industry Q&A response originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of the Toy BookClick here to read more!

About the author

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik was the Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book from 2020-2022. She was also a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider.