Argos takes the Santa Christmas letter digital with wishlist app

Argos is looking to prove its innovation credentials with the launch of a wishlist app for children that digitises the traditional Santa Christmas letter.

Argos takes the Santa Christmas letter digital with wish list app
Argos takes the Santa Christmas letter digital with wish list app

The app, available on Android and iOS, enables kids to create a list of gifts they might like to receive at Christmas by scrolling through pictures of products from brands such as Lego and Chad Valley. They’re helped by a group of animated characters that guide them through the process.

Once they’ve picked their gifts, they can move them to a mood board which they can personalise by drawing and placing stickers numbering their must-have items. Once they’re done, the list can be “Sent to the North Pole”.

Parents will be able to alter the settings on the app so children only see gifts in certain price brackets and can only add a certain number to the wishlist. The completed list is then sent to their email address, with product listing, special offers, reviews and an opportunity to buy all included at the bottom.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Argos’ head of digital innovation Neil Tinegate that while the app does include product information, it is playing down hard selling in favour of offering a good experience for children and adults. He said this year’s version of the app will be trial to test appetite for such a service, with the retailer looking at ways it can expand to include more occasions, such as birthdays, and a wider audience beyond the three-to-seven year olds the app is aimed at.

Tinegate joined Argos just over a year ago in the newly created role and since then has tried to create more of a start-up culture among in its digital team, he said. The retailer now has a permanent digital hub above its Victoria store and has been holding hackathons across the business to discover new ideas.

The first of those, held in March, led to the a shortlist of eight ideas of which the wishlist app was the winner and was then further developed over the summer. Tinegate said of the other seven ideas, another is also being worked on ahead of a launch next year while the other six have been fed into some other services Argos is working on.

The aim, said Tinegate, is to integrate innovation across the brand and ensure Argos maintains its focus on being a digital retail leader.

“[The wishlist app] fits with the new Argos brand in the look and fell, the attitude of fun and dynamism. We want it to reflect that Argos is a fresh thinking and innovative brand,” he said.

Separately, Argos is also set to launch the Christmas version of its new “Get Set, Go Argos” campaign, which launched last month. The spot, which breaks on TV tomorrow (6 November), features a life-size advent calendar made of stacked cubes that erupt to reveal skaters, street dancers and an array of Argos products (see video below).