Targus: Global Brand Reinvents Its Ecommerce Strategy With Etail

Working with Etail, Targus integrated its 1P and 3P online sales channels including large marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart, along with specialty marketplaces like Newegg and Rakuten.

For 35 years, Targus – a brand leader in mobile computing accessories from laptop bags, tablet cases, docking stations and other computer peripherals, had grown to enjoy a worldwide market, selling in more than 100 countries.

But the world was moving to ecommerce, and Targus felt it was falling behind.

“For us to really win, it’s all about connecting directly to our customers,” said James Moat, Targus Vice President of Global Digital and eCommerce. “We are a well-known brand. But for us to continue thriving another 35 years, we have to be where consumers are. And they are moving more and more online.”

James joined Targus in early 2018 in a newly created role, reporting directly to the CEO and charged with reinventing Targus’ ecommerce strategy worldwide.

Targus is dedicated to becoming a total solution for “mobile professionals”, James said, offering everything business travelers need to carry, protect and use their laptops and tablets while on the road.

But these road warriors are savvy online shoppers and Targus lacked several important factors needed to win them over including a great online customer experience, distribution in all the sales channels and marketplaces they were likely to shop, and inventory available worldwide.

That’s when he turned to Etail Solutions.

Targus fulfilled its enterprise B2B orders out of an enormous warehouse at its Anaheim, CA headquarters. James was convinced transforming that facility to handle B2C fulfillment, in addition to B2B fulfillment, would be a key step in reinventing Targus online and the start of their digital transformation.

“We knew we could setup the warehouse for B2C ecommerce, but we identified two large gaps in the process,” James said. “One was the ability to distribute our product catalog to an unlimited number of destinations online and then to grab those orders from non-proprietary destinations like Amazon, Walmart or eBay and process them in an automated fashion.”

Working with Etail, Targus integrated its 1P and 3P online sales channels including large marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart, along with specialty marketplaces like Newegg and Rakuten.  They also introduced a new branded website, powered by Shopify and integrated into the Etail platform.

James is in the process of rolling out the Etail/Shopify solution to North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia, along with integrating with regional Amazon, eBay and local marketplaces, and integrating with 3PLs and distributors to expand Targus’ distribution capabilities.

James credits Etail’s end-to-end integration with making this strategy possible.

“I literally have Etail open all day, every day,” James said. “I can’t imagine doing what we’re doing today without an Etail because it’s all centralized. It’s all consolidated in one view. So now I can look at what’s happening on Walmart versus eBay versus Shopify, whatever, and I can do it all in one instance, which is pretty exciting.”

Etail also helped Targus integrate and update its legacy systems for the ecommerce, James said.

“What is really powerful about Etail is not only the visibility it provides throughout the supply chain, but also the automation of everything from getting the order to slapping a shipping label on the box and sending a tracking number,” James said.

“I think that was something that the company historically probably wasn’t even aware existed, “ he added. “The reality is that I won’t be able to replace our inventory management system, but I can bolt on something that allows us to automate everything and work with those legacy systems. And that’s what Etail has done a really good job at. I think one of the things I like about Etail is that they are willing to try anything.”

In planning a global project of this scale, James said he considered several alternatives before deciding on Etail.

“I think what differentiated Etail for me was the level of partnership and the level of customer service. That’s what really stuck out,” James said. “Etail really worked hard to win our business and I think Etail is working hard to keep our business.”

He’s convinced they made the right choice.

“The Etail team is always willing to figure it out and maybe we won’t get it right the first time, but we’re going to crunch through it, together, and strategize on how to start scale our revenue as quickly as possible,” James said.

As a private company, Targus doesn’t release their financials, but James said he is seeing his ecommerce business, from channel to channel, grow 50% to 300% year-over-year as he rolls out the program and expects the growth to continue for years to come.

He said he’s also excited about how his new-found ecommerce capability provides the ability to experiment with new products, packaging and promotions and to work with Etail to use the platform’s capabilities to grow listings, implement pricing strategies, and integrate distribution partners.

“When I work with Etail, it’s very much ‘Ok, Etail will grow our business because we will grow your business’,” James said.  “I really liked that. The performance-based model works really well for me because I know it kind of keeps us all hungry to grow our ecommerce revenue to a critical mass.”

To learn more about Targus, visit us.targus.com.

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