Mastermind Toys, Canada’s Authority on Play, Leverages Fast Simon to Deliver Wonder and Discovery Online

Advanced AI-based Search and Merchandising Optimizes Shopping to Bring Expert Curation to Online Experiences

LOS ALTOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AIFast Simon (formerly InstantSearch+) today announced that Mastermind Toys, Canada’s Authority on Play and the nation’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer, leveraged Fast Simon’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) shopping optimization solution to help grow online and mobile channel sales by approximately 300 percent in the past 12 months. As the specialty retailer has evolved its assortment, including the largest outdoor offering ever this past spring and lots of new lineups for back to school launched last week, these AI tools are critical to help customers find what they’re looking for.

During the past year, Mastermind Toys rapidly expanded its wonder-filled customer journeys on its digital and digitally assisted channels—from web to mobile to curbside shopping—allowing shoppers to “choose their own adventure.” As stores had to temporarily close to in-person traffic or significantly restrict capacity as a result of COVID-19, the team at Mastermind Toys made a fast leap to digital commerce and contactless, curbside pickup to be a resource for parents looking for fun and educational resources to keep the family engaged and young minds active during lockdowns. The new omnichannel strategy needed to embody Mastermind Toys’ world-class in-store experiences that feed curiosity, deliver new discoveries around every corner, and offer unforgettable gifts for kids—and kids at heart.

“Mastermind Toys is proudly a customer-obsessed company. We are passionate about putting ourselves in our littlest customers’ shoes and providing experiences of wonder and delight in stores, online, or at curbside,” said Sarah Jordan, CEO of Mastermind Toys. “Fast Simon’s AI shopping optimization delivered the perfect digital advantage that matched our innovative curation of toys, books, puzzles, and games to bring our expertise in play patterns to life online. It solved nagging search issues for hard-to-find items that frustrated shoppers and amplified our creative offerings. From our curated web boutiques to our signature Gift Finder tool that allows gift givers to customize their search, our digital functionality puts the special back into specialty and firmly positions us as the birthday and holiday destination for gifting, coast to coast.”

The talented team at Mastermind Toys, bolstered by powerful AI, quickly created a customized and personalized online channel experience that separated the Canadian retailer from a sea of sameness among digital toy retailers. This technology not only eliminates common eCommerce search stumbles, but also delivers advanced techniques that understand shopper intent to match them with unique collections. Its tailored search capabilities will play an important role as the company launches its largest ever back-to-school collection, allowing customers to discover what’s new at Mastermind Toys even if they don’t know the brand name of what they are looking for. Customers know to search for LEGO, for example, but they might not know how to search for YumBox if they’re searching for their kid’s new lunchbox.

“Mastermind Toys exemplifies how specialty retailers and brands compete on curation that differentiates them from the endless, impersonal results of the big internet retailer searches, such as Amazon,” said Zohar Gilad, CEO of Fast Simon. “AI shopping optimization offers the kind of intelligence that amplifies the creative work of expert human designers and merchandisers, like the Play Experts at Mastermind Toys, to instantly predict intent. Adding science to the art of merchandising, AI helps merchants take adaptive control of the shopping journey, ultimately driving search through personalization, reducing cart abandonment, and boosting average order volume and conversion rates.”

With Mastermind Toys’ increase in digital and contactless channel sales, the company is innovating again. It is modernizing stores with new spaces called “Woo-hoo HQs” for a new shopping reality that blends physical and digital experiences while keeping what makes the brand special for kids of all ages.

About Mastermind Toys

Mastermind Toys began in 1984 as a 300-square-foot shop in Toronto that sold educational software for home computers. Since then, it has grown into Canada’s Authority on Play: the nation’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer with 68 locations coast to coast and online. It is known for its world-class curation of toys, games, puzzles and books, along with its signature wrapping paper. In 2020, Mastermind Toys was named the Most Innovative Retailer Globally at the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards.

About Fast Simon

Fast Simon is the leader in AI-powered shopping optimization. Its revolutionary platform uniquely integrates shopper, behavioral and store signals for strategic merchandising and optimized shopping experiences that dramatically increase conversions and average order value (AOV). Fast Simon powers shopping optimization at thousands of fast-growing merchants and sophisticated brands, including Steve Madden, Natural Life, Mastermind Toys and Motherhood. Fast Simon integrates seamlessly with all major eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Microsoft Dynamics and WooCommerce.


Davida Dinerman, vice president

Look Left Marketing

Susan Anderson, vice president, marketing & brand

Mastermind Toys

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