Toys R Us Inc. is making good on its nearly 2-year-old promise to bring e-commerce operations in-house and redesign its site.
The move comes after a decade of outsourcing web sales to the former GSI Commerce, now Radial, which last year said it would get out of the business of hosting e-commerce sites and encourage retailer clients to moves to the e-commerce platform of Demandware Inc. Toys R US began its in-house replatforming project in the summer of 2015, says a Toys R Us spokesman.
“Over the past two years we’ve had to catch up on 10 years of innovation and technology,” he says.
The toy retailer, No. 38 in the Internet Retailer 2017 U.S. Top 1000, began showing shoppers its new website this week and will make it available to all consumers in July, the spokesman says.
The new site has a sleeker look, with larger images that span the width of the screen, large text and more filtering options. Plus, the retailer reduced the number of clicks required to checkout to two from five.
To spearhead the project, the retailer hired Lance Wills in May 2016 as its first-ever chief technology officer, who then hired several other employees for his team, the spokesman says.
One focus of the new website is to bridge online with the retailer’s physical stores, Wills says. “We want this to be a vehicle by which we can bring our customers back to our stores,” he says.
The retailer also updated its Babies R Us site, which includes its baby registry. The updated registry makes it easier for parents to set up and manage the registry, says Tara Van Slyck, senior manager of digital product management. For example, the registry will show a mom as soon as she logs in how many items have been purchased off her registry and how many more are left. The registry also will give a parent an alert if an item is discontinued, on sale, recalled or out of stock, and if he or she needs to replace it with a new product.
Toys R Us generated an Internet Retailer-estimated $1.49 billion in web sales in 2016. The retailer, in its 2016 fiscal report, says its consolidated e-commerce sales from the ToyRUus.com, BabiesRUs.com and FAO.com websites increased 11% in 2016 from 2015.