New digital initiatives are designed to win back customers from retail rivals.
Toys ‘R’ Us let its digital initiatives slide at a time when its competitors were recognizing the importance of ecommerce. Now, in a concerted effort to win back the customers it has lost to its rivals, USA Today reports that the toy giant has pledged resources to the creation of a new website and the invigoration of its ecommerce experience. The revamp is just part of a nearly $100 million investment.
“The website really represents the front door of our brand,’’ Lance Wills, Toys R Us’ first global chief technology officer, told USA Today. He noted that more than 60 percent of the company’s customers visit its website before deciding to go to an actual store. “In a year to two years, we have to catch up on 10 years of innovation and that’s no small feat.’’
The announcement was made on the company’s blog, where they announced that “we are pumped to officially reveal that over the coming weeks and months, customers visiting Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com will see a new and improved digital experience, including a refresh of familiar features, and the introduction of some really cool new ones.”
While the blog post admitted – and poked fun at – the fact that they have been behind the times in terms of its digital game, it also acknowledged that the dedication to innovation on the part of the company’s CEO has meant significant investment in the site that brings it “to a place that will allow us to grow and compete for your hard earned $$.”
“Some organizations recognize faster than others there are shifts in the ways customers want to be communicated with and the way customers want to purchase products,’’ says Toys R Us CEO David Brandon. “It probably took us a while."’
Among the tune-ups are a reduction of clicks for checkout, the addition of notifications of sales on products on the baby registry, and the addition of categories to help streamline browsing of products. The new website also includes larger images, streamlined menus, and a pared-down checkout process. The changes – many of which were based on customer feedback -- are being rolled out slowly, to a small percentage of customers every couple of weeks, with the promise of a full rollout tentatively scheduled for early July, according to USA Today.
The digital investment also includes initiatives geared toward offering more personalized experiences for customers, targeted email, tailored presentations of web content, and other features that should boost customer engagement and sales.