The Entertainer: Suppliers can help us improve online

Multi-channel director Duncan Grant calls on toy firms to help with new means of selling.
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Following news that The Entertainer is extending its multi-channel offering, to include same-day home delivery, 30-minute click and collect, endless aisle ordering in-store for home delivery, call-centre order placement, order management and customer friendly functionality, we spoke further to Duncan Grant.

Grant told ToyNews: “I think that understanding the needs of the multi-channel retailer is important for suppliers – providing great product content is basic but it’s amazing how many suppliers feel it is a chore to send across descriptions or images for their products on time – they don’t seem to realise that without these we can’t put the product online and they are missing out on sales.”

Last month, The Entertainer signed a new deal with e-commerce provider Neoworks to build a new Hybris multi-channel solution for its business.

We caught up with the company’s director of multi-channel, Duncan Grant, to find out more about the company’s plans.

Explaining the reasoning behind the implementation of the new solution, Grant said: “We’re really being led by two key goals. The first is to follow the shopping habits of our customers by providing them with the tools to shop the way they want, for example 30 minute click and collect.

“Secondly we’re looking at ways of using our assets – principally our stores – more effectively so we get value for money.

“This is why we’ve made the stores the centre of our new multichannel infrastructure.”

It is hoped the new offering will benefit customers by giving them access to a wider range of stock, better availability, an improved website experience and more delivery options.

Ever expanding internet offerings have forced many stores with a large High Street offering to re-think their strategies. Despite offering a very strong website, which was recently awarded the BTHA’s Online Toy Retailer 2011 award, The Entertainer is still having to constantly strengthen its offering to remain competitive.

Grant explains: “The internet has made price more transparent and also allowed low-cost operators to reach a wider market. That has put specialists like The Entertainer under pressure to really differentiate ourselves and add value to a customer’s experience.

“We aim to offer more than just price – we provide interesting products in an exciting environment and our staff have the product knowledge to offer great advice. Children know exactly what they want so our advice helps customers to buy the right toy at a fair price rather than the wrong toy at a cheap price – no-one wants to be the uncool uncle or granny whose present gets quickly pushed aside at the birthday party.”

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