Toy retailers are in a difficult spot. Online shopping keeps growing and offline retailers are suffering because of this. That’s why in Denmark, online toy retailer Coolshop joined forces with nine physical toy stores. And now they are all doing well.
The success story of Coolshop’s omnichannel strategy can be a real inspiration for other retailers who are struggling with keeping up with the rise of online shopping. Within the last year, there wre nine physical toy stores that came from established retail chains, but chose to become part of Kids Coolshop.
‘Work together with the online elements of the business’
And since then, these stores have experienced “almost explosive growth”, CEO and founder Jacob Risgaard told Business Insider. “In some instances close to 50 percent”, he adds. Risgaard has a clear explanation for this growth: “Physical stores are not going away. But they need to adapt, and most of all they need to work together with the online elements of the business, benefitting both parties.”
Still, many retailers in Europe treat the online and offline parts of their business as two separate entity. This can sometimes even lead to the situation in which both parts are practically competing against each other. But Coolshop tries to avoid this, by letting online and offline work together closely. In practice this means the physical stores get a share of the online sales in their geographical area.
Money and info from the online shop
Most retailers still treat the online and offline parts of the business as two separate entities, practically competing against each other. Coolshop is doing things differently. The physical stores get a share of the online sales in their geographical area and also get valuable information from the online branch.
For example, the physical stores now use data from the online store to see which products are trending. This way, they know when they can expect increased demand in their stores. “We were among the first retailers to have fidget spinners on the shelves when they became a hit last year”, Risgaard explains.
Greater purchasing power
Aside from money and information, the physical retailers now also benefit from extra purchasing power. “We have become one of the main buyers on the market now, enabling us to get the best and latest products at very competitive prices. That has especially benefitted the physical stores because they can now match or surpass the product selection of the larger chains.”
YouTube instead of TV and print
Another factor that has really helped the physical stores, is a change in marketing efforts. Normally, physical toy stores mostly rely on traditional channels such as TV and print to advertise their product. But Kids Choolshop sees YouTube as its main outlet. Risgaard: “We don’t believe in flashy TV ads. Products do not represent any value until they are being applied for something fun and awesome. So we show our products in actual use on our YouTube channel.”