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Subject: Fw: UKNM: Toys R US - site, outdated - who does it???
From: Ray Taylor
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 18:02:25 GMT

Peter Shankman <peteratgeekfactory [dot] com> wrote

>Hi Leslie...
>I think that the Toys r' Us site is a perfect example of what the web is
>doing to the big monster companies...
>These companies,, (Toys r' us, WalMart, KMart, Sears, etc...) can't afford
>to go on the web, and can't afford to have people shop online. Why? If they
>do, they canibalize (forgive the spelling) their own stores. These stores
>have millions upon millions upon millions of dollars invested in stores,
>people, parking lots, bricks, mortar, etc... If they start selling on the
>web full force, they eat into what they've spent so much money to build.

This is an assumption made by many retailers, and is a similar fear to that
expressed by print publishers a couple of years ago.

But I think it is wrong to assume that big retailers have everything to lose
by going online. Particularly when you consider what Dixons and Tesco are

By adopting the Internet as a serious alternative route to market, retailers
not only have the chance to develop additional revenue streams, service more
customers from within bigger catchment areas, buying more products, spending
more money, and costing less money per transaction (if done right) - they
also protect themselves from new web retail brands stealing their business.

The ones that lose out will be the ones whose fuddy-duddy old directors
refuse to take action now and leave it until they have an Amazon biting
their corporate bums before they do anything about it. And I know a couple
of big brands about to find out what teeth in the posteria feel like.

As for not updating your site, that's just bad management, bad customer
service, and those that allow that kind of thing to go on are in line for
their P45s anyway, regardless of the impact the internet may or may not have
on their retail operations. Customer service at
Toys-R-okay-butchildrenareapain already stinks, so it won't get any better
by translating it to the web.

It is not a technology issue, it is a customer service issue. Direct
customer sales operations (eg Direct Line insurance) work well because they
match their customer service needs while increasing sales and reducing
costs. Anyone can buy a bunch of telephones and put a bunch of telephone
operators on them, and telephone technology has been around for a hundred
years. What counts is the application - the customer service. Which is why
First Direct bank is a huge success and Barclays/Lloyds/NatWest etc
telephone banking is a big joke.

Tesco and Dixons have the right idea, although implementing it differently.
WH Smith is a little late but there is still time to catch up. Wonder who'll
be next. Boots?

Ray Taylor
We plan and buy web advertising
+44 181 639 0015

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  Re: Fw: UKNM: Toys R US - site, outdated, Peter Shankman

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