Mattel announced today the launching of MattelShop.com, a new online shopping destination that will allow consumers to purchase their products directly. This is the second online store Mattel has launched in just over a year, the first being Mattycollector.com, a more adult-oriented action figure collector site.
Here is the official press release Mattel put out for the new store:
Mattel, Inc. today, announced the launch of MattelShop.com, an online shopping destination committed to delivering play everyday by offering a complete selection of Mattel products, informative content, and an immersive social shopping experience.
“We have developed a unique online shopping destination that is playful, social and informative,” said Chuck Scothon, General Manager & Senior Vice President, Mattel Digital Network. “The MattelShop.com serves as a research and shopping tool allowing parents, grandparents and gift-givers alike to choose the best toys for children this holiday season.”
Mattel conducts research just about every day of the year to better understand kids and parents. Combining rich proprietary research and an understanding of how kids play along with how consumers shop online, MattelShop.com is designed to be easy and intuitive for every shopper. Once on the homepage, Mattel’s own Dr. Michael Shore, Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Insights, takes visitors through a simple guided tour of the site’s key features and general layout.
The MattelShop.com features innovative tools including ShopTogether®, a social shopping tool from DecisionStep® that allows anyone to browse the site together with family and friends regardless of whether they are across town or around the world. The ShopTogether® feature allows shoppers to chat in real time regarding the toys they like most, just like one would do on a shopping trip.
The site includes a complete catalog of Mattel’s popular brands such as Barbie® and Hot Wheels® plus many other toys, games and licensed products from the entire Mattel Brands portfolio which includes favorites such as Matchbox® and Polly Pocket™. Shoppers are can choose to shop by age, gender, play preference, or find the hottest new products on the big or small screen from Mattel’s entertainment related portfolio.
MattelShop.com ecommerce innovations include:
Shop Together® –MattelShop.com shoppers will be able to invite friends and family to browse the website with them, so they can see what products others are looking at and “talk” about them at the same time using real-time chat.
ConciseClick: When watching videos, this rollover-and-click technology provides a description, price and opportunity to drop products immediately into a shopping cart.
Play Pattern Navigation: Shoppers can navigate the site based on child’s play behaviors.
It remains to be seen if Mattel plans to expand the number of action figure-related products such as He-Man and DC Universe available on this new site or if those type of figures will remain exclusive to MattyCollector.com, which has been plagued with customer service complaints since it launched. It should be noted that Mattel's collector site bearing the Mattel name on it is actually outsourced to an outside company called Digital River. It is unclear if this new site will also be run by an outside company or if it will be run in-house at Mattel. One thing seems clear to me though, and that is Mattel appears intent on looking for new ways to get product to consumers to break the grasp that mass-retailers like Wal-Mart and Target have on the toy company, who up to this point have been the primary channel for getting their products out to the consumer.