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Article | March 25, 2020
There are 32 million kids under the age of 14 in the U.S. This week, and for who knows how much longer, they will be home from school due to the COVID-19 crisis. It may sound like a situation that will try the patience of any parent. But Bill Onderdonk, COO of high-end toy and game company KiwiCo, tells PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster that he thinks he has a solution. “If you want to spend quality time with your kids, they’re great projects for two or three people to do together,” he said. “So that’s sort of the other flip side of this crisis. On a broader scale, parents are concerned about how much time kids are spending in front of screens, whether that’s video games, phones or social media. Our products are a great alternative, because they are engaging and fun for kids.”
It's not hyperbole to say that modern retail lives and dies by one overwhelmingly powerful metric: the customer experience. But knowing how to actually provide it, to a given retailer's unique collection of customers, is what has escaped so many of the retailers we once thought were too big to fail. As the industry becomes more conceptually innovative and tech-driven, there isn't a single obvious path that guarantees the ability to deliver on that promise. Customer demands pop up too quickly, and retailers are running out of fingers to plug the dike. It's time to find a more sustainable approach.
In case you have been living under a rock, major US retail stores have announced they are closing or limiting their store hours to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States. Besides almost every state closing restaurants, bars, gym’s, and theaters, you also have big companies trying to protect citizens from the Coronavirus crisis and protect public health. Walmart has taken steps to reduce hours after several major retailers have chosen to fully close physical store operations after there have been several confirmed cases in the country and they continue to rise. Major retailers Glossier and Patagonia both announced a temporary closure, prompting popular stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, and Urban Outfitters to follow their lead.
The e-commerce retail environment is only getting more competitive thanks to digital and increasing mobile retail innovations. And while Amazon reins supreme, and often cited as the one to beat in e-commerce, the mega omnichannel player's marketplace can be a prime opportunity for online retailers big and small, brand name or no name. To get insight on what retailers should be doing and not doing in e-commerce to attract customers and drive business we reached out to James Thomson, who headed up Amazon Services for years and runs a summit/education conference for large Amazon sellers. He's also a partner in Buy Box Experts, an agency supporting brands that sell online.
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