How to increase Christmas toy sales

Dec 19, 2018

The Wall Street Journal reported that Toys R us had failed, however the Washington Post wrote a piece on how the failed retail giant could be making a comeback by cancelling a bankrupt auction.

The auction was set to sell off much loved brand assets like Geoffrey the Giraffe, brand names and the website domains. Instead there have been reports that the giant could use these in a relaunch of the retail business. At the time of closure, Toys R Us hinted at a revival of the brand, with the brand stating on social media that there would be a “a next chapter for Geoffrey and the iconic Toys R Us brands.

We question how Toys R Us could make a comeback during the Holidays to maximise and uplift sales in the most crucial time of the year for Toy Retailers. The proportion of 8-11-year olds who engage in social media has increased from 90% to 94% between 2016 to 2017, according to Mintel. Whilst the proportion of 12-15-year olds going online remains at 99%. Source: Ofcom. Though a large proportion of this market will not have a budget of their own, often their influence will cause a knock on effect with their parents, ultimately making them spend money in-store. With a rise of this type of social media and the online savvy consumer, it is ever more important to marry online and offline channels making sure that the tone and message presented in-store is easily digested online.

Utilising Influencer Marketing to Increase Christmas Toy Sales

In a survey conducted by Variety, it was reported that 63% of respondents aged 13-24 stated that they would purchase a product recommended by a YouTube creator, whereas 48% stated they would try it if it was endorsed by a TV or Movie star. This is an increasing trend with millennials and Generation Z aspiring to be YouTube creators instead of the traditional Astronaut etc. Brands should look at collaborating with micro and macro influencers to increase their reach and engagement rate with younger audiences who’s spending will lead back to the parents.

Educate and entertain

Though an online presence is important these days, it is vital that you a consistent brand message across both online and in-store. As reported by Mintel, the store remains a vital part of the consumer journey with 37% of consumers visiting the store before making a purchasing decision, whether it be online or offline. A campaign led by parents saw the increase of STEM toys, toys that focused on educational benefits that not only entertained children but also gave them something meaningful out of the experience. This saw an increase in the demand of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical toys.  70% of parents agreed that they were more likely to purchase a toy that had these benefits over a toy that didn’t. Using point of sale materials such as an FSDU to demonstrate the STEM benefits can allow your product to speak to both parent and child. Use attractive visuals and branding to draw children in, and then use informative messaging to illustrate to both child and parent how the benefits would work, making sure that you highlight both the fun side and the educational side of the toy.

STEM Toys POS
POS and FSDU Promotions

Use an FSDU and POS to highlight promotions

Supermarkets are becoming increasingly popular for parents to purchase toys based on a survey conducted by Mintel in 2016. 45% of consumers chose to purchase toys in a supermarket over a specialist retailer. This could be because of the in-store promotions that were supported with OOH marketing campaigns. This included Tesco’s “3 for 2” on all toy offers and ASDA’s Big toy roll back. Low prices are often the main priority, especially around peak seasonal times like Christmas and Birthdays. 65% of parents stated that a toy’s low price was the main factor in making a purchasing decision. Half of women also place a high priority on buying toys from retailers on sale or special offer. While 52% of mothers with children aged under-16 look for sales/special offers, this drops to only 39% with fathers. Using point of sale materials such as hanging signs and in-store window displays are great ways of increasing customer engagement and increasing footfall in-store through targeting the bargain buyer. Hanging signs give you the flexibility of displaying your offers up in high traffic areas and driving your consumers to your products. This will drive sales by highlighting your show stopping offers and promotional discounts, which is vital in the toy industry as competition is high.

Let’s make a deal!

Toys are usually made out of some form of plastic, with a 2018’s focus on helping the environment – offer an in-store promotion supported by both store window campaigns, hanging signs and online marketing campaigns that highlights if a parent recycles an old toy, they will receive a discount off their next purchase. This is a clever way of increasing revenue as 7 out of 10 mothers state that they would recycle old toys if they were given the option to purchase a new one with a discount.

FSDU and POS Recycling
Targeting Fathers in Toy Stores

Targeting Fathers during Christmas time

As discussed in our previous article, how capitalising on what kids want will influence the parent’s purchasing decisions. Men are more likely to choose a branded toy over an unbranded toy, making it so they prefer brands they trust over ones they have never heard of.

44% of male shoppers and 51% of fathers agreed that they would rather purchase a branded toy for their child under 16 from a brand they recognise. Associating well-known brands with trust and high quality, this makes it so that men are often the higher spenders when purchasing toys.

Messaging and proposition are crucial when creating campaigns that feature a father and a child, as you will have to question if intended target audience will recognise and trust the brand you are featuring. An easy solution for this is to create recognition of the new toy launch in advance, by featuring in-store posters featuring the toy and building an online social media presence. Fathers are more likely to research the toy beforehand, it is important for toy retailers to build brand awareness and trust through online reviews and blogs, creating brand touch points like this in advance will bode well when the target audience go to purchase a product in-store.

In the lead up to Christmas build up your brand awareness with your male target audience in the period where high spending is imminent. Using influencers men and children trust in in-store and online marketing will increase the chance of your targeted customer opting to purchase the product in your store rather than a competitor. Use in-store point of sale marketing to support your campaigns, POS like FSDUs and CDUs can be used to convey your brand messages and campaigns clearly whilst providing a perfect merchandising solution.

Attracting AB customers with expert customer experience

Affluent AB Socio-economic consumers with the higher incomes of over £50,000 or more often choose toy retailers with expertise knowledge on products. This would often fall under luxury department stores and specialist stores. Gain an in-store experience that enchants your consumers and make them trust your expertise and knowledge of your stock. More than 4/10 parents see a shopping trip as a way of bonding with their children, through offering an experience using interactive store merchandising such as an FSDU will help engage both your consumers and make it so they feel they are getting a worthwhile experience out of your store, that they cannot find anywhere else.

In the run up to Christmas Harrods provides customers with a toy concierge, offering consumers expert buyers that take into consideration the child’s age, preferences and hobbies in order to help tailor toys to children. Through using festive point of sale and festive FSDUs (free standing display units) to promote and direct consumers to your own toy concierge will give you the power to offer a service layer that your competitors don’t offer. Harrods saw an increase of customers enquiring in-store seeking the toy concierge service, this drove customers in-store to make purchases rather than online.

Targeting an Affluent customer

At Simpson Group we know how a great Toy window displays can go a long way with influencing customers and driving high-street traffic in-store. We have worked with some of the most loved toy retailers on the high-street providing them with captivating and enchanting toy displays.

If you have an enquiry regarding a bespoke toy window display, or an enquiry about an FSDU to merchandise toys on, feel free to contact us here. Alternatively, you can call us or email us on 0191 416 1579 | sales@simpsongroup.co.uk.