Toys “R” Us’ financial struggle proves the importance of digital strategy & innovation

With one of the world’s largest toy stores, Toys “R” Us’ recent financial struggle it goes to show that no business is safe from the digital era. This story is nothing new either. We have seen major brands drop from the high street like flies over that last couple of years. The last few weeks alone have seen New Look, B&Q and Mothercare warn over their performance.

 

Digital struggles

To understand these, you need to understand the core mistakes that Toys “R” us made. One of the mistakes they made was that they were too late to invest in digital. They didn’t see the benefits of the internet and signed a contract for Amazon to handle their fulfilment. As a result, Toys “R” Us missed the opportunity to develop its own eCommerce presence early on. The main mistake they made however goes deeper than their website. Toys “R” Us failed to innovate!

The retail market has changed, “people don’t buy products & services anymore – they buy experiences.”

Look at Apple. They sell computer equipment and are structurally no different from their competitors. Yet the experience that comes along with Apple from the high quality of the devices to the usability of the products. Visiting an apple store Vs visiting a generic computer store are very different experiences.

Apple proves that it’s important to be innovative with your customer experience. Don’t settle for the same experience which has existed for years.

 

What should your business be learning from all this?

You should already be aware that having a website has long since been a requirement for your business to succeed. However, a website alone isn’t enough anymore if you wish your business to grow and succeed long-term. What you need is a comprehensive digital strategy.

Next is a good example of this, since they have just announced a big investment into their online activity. Next CEO Simon Wolfson has admitted the retailer had been slow to see the opportunity in online marketing:

“I wish we’d started this investment three years ago,” Wolfson told Marketing Week, speaking at Next’s annual general meeting. (23rd March 18)

Next’s aim is to concentrate on creating a more personal experience by increasing online investment by £11m. Next wants to improve it’s ability to target consumers online. They also want to deliver a more personalised shopping experience. – from personalised promotions and homepages, to being able to personalise Next products.

 

I’m a small business. So this doesn’t affect me right?

Wrong! The digital landscape makes it easier than ever for smaller business to compete with massive brands. Especially since many larger businesses aren’t investing appropriately in digital.

It’s all about spotting the best opportunities for you. Right now one of these is social media. Facebook advertising gives an incredible amount of targeting and advertising options to businesses. And right now the cost is astonishingly low when compared to other advertising options around. Social media also provides an easy platform for you to build that “experience” that can differentiate you from competitors.

 

What now?

If you want to talk about what options are out there and how Digital Storm can assist your business then please feel free to email me, curtis@digitalstorm.co.uk or call our office 01202 298392.

We can offer a complete digital marketing retainer allowing us to look after and support you with all your online marketing efforts on a monthly basis.

 

Written by Curtis Williams.

Digital Storm is a company with forward thinking ideas – I would not hesitate to recommend them.

Tanya

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