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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Customer Engagement Strategy for Specialty Toy Retailer in North America


There are countless scenarios that require Enterprise Performance Management. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Enterprise Performance Management to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. Let us analyze the following scenario.

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Consider this scenario: A specialty toy retailer in North America, known for its unique and educational toys, faces challenges in maintaining its market position due to declining enterprise performance management.

The retailer has experienced a 20% decrease in customer foot traffic and a 15% decline in average transaction value over the past two years, exacerbated by the growing competition from online marketplaces and big-box stores. The primary strategic objective of the organization is to enhance customer engagement and loyalty while optimizing operational efficiency to regain market share and improve profitability.



This specialty toy retailer is confronting stagnation as a direct consequence of diminishing customer engagement and loyalty in an increasingly competitive landscape. The core issues appear to stem from an outdated enterprise performance management system that fails to capture and analyze customer data effectively, leading to missed opportunities for personalized marketing and customer experience enhancements.

Industry Analysis

The toy retail industry is currently undergoing significant transformation, influenced by changing consumer behaviors and technological advancements. The rise of e-commerce platforms and shifting consumer preferences towards educational and eco-friendly toys are reshaping market dynamics.

Examining the competitive forces reveals:

  • Internal Rivalry: Intense, with retailers competing on price, product range, and customer experience.
  • Supplier Power: Moderate, as manufacturers seek exclusive partnerships with retailers to secure shelf space.
  • Buyer Power: High, due to the availability of alternative purchasing channels like online marketplaces.
  • Threat of New Entrants: Low, given the established relationships and brand recognition of existing players.
  • Threat of Substitutes: High, with digital games and apps increasingly substituting traditional toys.

Emerging trends include the growing demand for STEM toys and the increasing importance of sustainability in product offerings. These shifts present both opportunities and risks:

  • Increase in online shopping: Opportunity to expand digital sales channels but risk further decline in physical store traffic.
  • Growing preference for educational toys: Opportunity to differentiate product offerings but requires investment in new inventory and marketing.
  • Heightened consumer expectations for sustainability: Opportunity to lead the market in eco-friendly toys but challenges in sourcing and cost management.

Learn more about Customer Experience Cost Management Consumer Behavior Industry Analysis

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Internal Assessment

The retailer possesses a strong brand identity and a loyal customer base but struggles with operational efficiencies and an outdated technology infrastructure.

PEST Analysis reveals significant technological and social shifts impacting the industry, including the rapid adoption of e-commerce and changing consumer expectations for personalized shopping experiences. Additionally, environmental concerns are influencing product preferences.

McKinsey 7-S Analysis highlights misalignments between strategy, structure, and systems, particularly in how customer data is collected and analyzed for decision-making. Staff skills in digital marketing and data analytics are also identified as areas for improvement.

Value Chain Analysis indicates inefficiencies in inventory management and customer service processes. Optimizing these areas through better data analytics and customer relationship management systems could enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Learn more about Customer Service Inventory Management Customer Satisfaction

Strategic Initiatives

Based on the insights from the industry analysis and internal assessment, management has decided to pursue the following strategic initiatives over the next 18 months :

  • Enhance Enterprise Performance Management: Implementing a modern EPM system to better track and analyze customer behavior and sales data. The intended impact is to improve decision-making and operational efficiency. This initiative will create value by enabling more targeted marketing and inventory management, expected to increase sales and reduce excess stock levels. Resource requirements include investment in EPM software and training for staff.
  • Develop an Omnichannel Retail Strategy: Integrating online and offline sales channels to provide a seamless customer experience. The intended impact is to increase customer engagement and loyalty across all touchpoints. Value creation comes from leveraging digital channels to complement physical stores, potentially increasing overall sales. This requires investment in e-commerce infrastructure and cross-channel marketing strategies.
  • Launch Sustainability-focused Product Lines: Introducing a range of eco-friendly and educational toys to meet growing consumer demand. The intended impact is to differentiate the retailer in a competitive market. Value is created by tapping into the trend towards sustainability, expected to attract new customers and increase brand loyalty. Resources needed include research and development, supplier negotiations, and marketing campaigns.

Learn more about Performance Management Industry Analysis Value Creation

Enterprise Performance Management Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


In God we trust. All others must bring data.
     – W. Edwards Deming

  • Customer Satisfaction Score: To measure the impact of the omnichannel strategy and product line expansion on customer experience.
  • Sales Growth by Channel: To assess the effectiveness of integrating online and offline sales channels.
  • Inventory Turnover Rate: To gauge improvements in inventory management following the EPM system implementation.

Tracking these KPIs will provide insights into the success of the strategic initiatives, allowing for timely adjustments to strategies and tactics. It will also highlight areas of operational excellence and identify further opportunities for improvement.

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Enterprise Performance Management Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Enterprise Performance Management. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Enterprise Performance Management subject matter experts.

Enterprise Performance Management Deliverables

These are a selection of deliverables across all the strategic initiatives.

  • Enterprise Performance Management System Implementation Plan (PPT)
  • Omnichannel Strategy Roadmap (PPT)
  • Sustainability-focused Product Line Launch Plan (PPT)
  • Customer Engagement and Loyalty Program Framework (PPT)
  • Operational Efficiency Enhancement Toolkit (Excel)

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Enhance Enterprise Performance Management

The strategic initiative to enhance Enterprise Performance Management was significantly supported by the Balanced Scorecard framework. The Balanced Scorecard, developed by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, is a strategic planning and management system used for aligning business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improving internal and external communications, and monitoring organizational performance against strategic goals. It proved invaluable for this initiative by providing a clear framework to translate the retailer's strategic objectives into a set of actionable performance metrics.

Following the adoption of the Balanced Scorecard, the organization implemented the framework through these steps:

  • Developed a comprehensive scorecard that included financial, customer, process, and learning and growth perspectives to fully capture the strategic objectives of enhancing enterprise performance management.
  • Identified key performance indicators (KPIs) for each perspective that were directly linked to the strategic objectives, such as customer satisfaction scores, sales growth by channel, and inventory turnover rate.
  • Conducted workshops with department heads to ensure alignment and understanding of the scorecard objectives, and to foster a culture of continuous improvement and accountability.

The implementation of the Balanced Scorecard enabled the organization to better align its strategic objectives with measurable outcomes, leading to improved decision-making and operational efficiency. The clear definition and communication of KPIs across the organization fostered a culture of transparency and accountability, contributing to a more focused and strategic approach to enhancing enterprise performance management.

Learn more about Strategic Planning Balanced Scorecard Continuous Improvement

Develop an Omnichannel Retail Strategy

For the strategic initiative to develop an omnichannel retail strategy, the organization employed the Customer Journey Mapping framework. Customer Journey Mapping allows businesses to visualize the path a customer takes from first becoming aware of a product or service to post-purchase interactions. This framework was particularly useful for understanding the multiple touchpoints a customer has with the brand and optimizing the integration between online and offline channels to create a seamless customer experience.

As part of implementing the Customer Journey Mapping framework, the organization took the following steps:

  • Mapped out the existing customer journey, identifying all touchpoints across online and physical store interactions.
  • Identified gaps and pain points in the current journey, particularly areas where the integration between channels was lacking or could be improved.
  • Developed strategies to enhance the customer experience at each touchpoint, including the introduction of new digital tools for product discovery and purchase, and training staff to provide consistent service across all channels.

The application of Customer Journey Mapping led to a deeper understanding of the customer experience, enabling the organization to identify critical areas for improvement. The subsequent enhancements to the omnichannel strategy resulted in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as evidenced by improved customer satisfaction scores and sales growth across both online and offline channels.

Learn more about Customer Journey Customer Journey Mapping Retail Strategy

Launch Sustainability-focused Product Lines

In launching sustainability-focused product lines, the organization utilized the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework. The Triple Bottom Line is a framework that encourages companies to focus not only on profit but also on the social and environmental impacts of their business. This approach was crucial for the strategic initiative, as it aligned with the growing consumer demand for products that are not only economically viable but also environmentally responsible and socially beneficial.

The implementation of the Triple Bottom Line framework involved the following actions:

  • Conducted a comprehensive assessment of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the new product lines, including supply chain sustainability, product lifecycle analysis, and community engagement opportunities.
  • Developed product and marketing strategies that highlighted the sustainability features of the new product lines, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Implemented sustainability reporting mechanisms to measure and communicate the impact of the new product lines on environmental and social metrics, alongside financial performance.

The adoption of the Triple Bottom Line framework facilitated a successful launch of the sustainability-focused product lines. The initiative not only met the organization's financial targets but also contributed positively to environmental sustainability and social equity. The strategic focus on sustainability attracted new customers and strengthened the brand's market position, demonstrating the value of integrating economic, environmental, and social considerations into product development and marketing strategies.

Learn more about Supply Chain Product Lifecycle

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Implemented a modern EPM system, leading to a 15% increase in operational efficiency through better decision-making and targeted marketing.
  • Integrated online and offline sales channels, resulting in a 20% increase in customer engagement and a 10% uplift in sales across channels.
  • Launched eco-friendly and educational toy lines, attracting a 25% increase in new customers and enhancing brand loyalty among existing customers.
  • Improved inventory turnover rate by 30%, reducing excess stock levels and aligning inventory with consumer demand more effectively.
  • Customer satisfaction scores rose by 18%, reflecting enhanced customer experiences across all touchpoints.

The strategic initiatives undertaken by the specialty toy retailer have yielded significant positive outcomes, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Balanced Scorecard, Customer Journey Mapping, and Triple Bottom Line frameworks in driving organizational change. The 15% increase in operational efficiency and the 10% uplift in sales are particularly noteworthy, as they directly contribute to the retailer's primary objective of regaining market share and improving profitability. The successful integration of online and offline sales channels, evidenced by a 20% increase in customer engagement, highlights the retailer's adaptability to changing consumer behaviors. Additionally, the launch of sustainability-focused product lines has not only attracted a 25% increase in new customers but also positioned the retailer as a market leader in eco-friendly toys, aligning with consumer demand for sustainable products.

However, while the results are predominantly positive, there are areas where outcomes fell short of expectations or could be further optimized. For instance, the increase in operational efficiency, though significant, may have room for further improvement given the extent of the initial inefficiencies identified. The reliance on new product lines to drive customer engagement and loyalty, while successful, underscores the need for continuous innovation and adaptation to maintain competitiveness. An alternative strategy could have included a more aggressive digital transformation to further capitalize on online sales channels and leverage data analytics for personalized customer experiences.

Based on the analysis, the recommended next steps include a deeper investment in digital transformation initiatives, focusing on advanced data analytics to further personalize customer experiences and optimize inventory management. Additionally, continuous innovation in product development, with an emphasis on sustainability and educational value, should remain a priority to sustain market differentiation and customer loyalty. Finally, expanding the scope of operational efficiency measures beyond the current initiatives could unlock further cost savings and performance improvements.

Source: Customer Engagement Strategy for Specialty Toy Retailer in North America, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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