With another busy Christmas season complete for toy retailers, now is the ideal time to reflect on what went well and what needs improving. Warehousing, distribution and your eCommerce function should be top of the list when it comes to a thorough review. Toy retailers face particular challenges in these areas, which can affect sales and customer satisfaction. Here, we look at the best ways you can improve your eCommerce and logistics functions for the year ahead.
Making the most of your website and marketplaces
Toy retailers need to create marketplaces that are enticing, describe their brand and, crucially, are easy to use. Parents want to buy from creative, innovative and engaging toy brands, but they don’t have time to browse around a clunky website. Providing an eCommerce facility that makes purchasing simple with a click of a button is the aim. In our experience, Shopify and WooCommerce provide the best customer experience when purchasing and they also seamlessly integrate with the Shop app and our distribution management system, Despatchlab.
Developing excellent stock management
There is nothing quite as disheartening as finding the perfect toy only to discover it’s out of stock. This is where effective stock management and an integrated shop come in. With these two functions working together, you can effectively plan your busy periods to make sure you have enough stock and provide your customers with a live inventory. If a toy does sell out, it should automatically be removed from your shop to avoid disappointing your customers.
Diversifying your product range
A common issue for toy retailers who are starting out is the lack of diversification in their product ranges. You may have developed your business from a particular idea, such as an educational toy, which you are keen to get out there and promote. But, while this may be your primary product, without variety, this cannot remain economically viable alone.
There are three key areas you should focus on when expanding your product range:
- Upselling: Your marketplace needs to promote your top tier items. By accurately categorising your products on your website, customers can see related products straight away
- Cross selling: like upselling, you should introduce your customers to a range of products to promote cross selling as they are browsing
- Different age ranges: establishing a loyal customer base is only once part of the puzzle, maintaining your customers is the second. For toy retailers, this means providing a variety of toys for different age ranges and interests, so your customers can grow with you
Warehousing and distribution
Unlike many other retail businesses, toy retailers will often need to send out products of vastly different shapes and sizes. This means that you will need to plan your warehousing and distribution carefully. By working with a trusted fulfilment partner, like Diamond, your business will gain access to a host of carriers that are suitable for different consignments and the most competitive rates.
There is little doubt that those toy retailers who were reliant on Royal Mail over the Christmas season would have found that their orders were heavily delayed. Because of this, many businesses have suffered poor online reviews and feedback through no fault of their own. This is an unacceptable situation and it should lead toy retailers to consider their continuity planning when it comes to their delivery carrier.
The advantage of working with a dedicated logistics team is that, if one carrier’s performance drops, we can simply switch to another, ensuring your service standards.
Ethical and sustainable brands
Many toy retails are looking for ethical and sustainable toy solutions in line with their customer’s values. This is why we have invested in sustainable packaging, offer carbon offsetting and have streamlined our logistics management to be as efficient as possible, so we can carry on your brand message.
Working with an experienced fulfilment partner has many benefits for toy retailers, but, perhaps the biggest is giving you the time back to concentrate on growing your business to its full potential.