Consumer Behavior Prompts Toy Marketers to Shift Strategies

The peak time for toy sales remains the holiday season but consumers purchase these products at other times during the year. Not surprisingly, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important for parents as they research what their children ask for. And, new data indicates that marketers could boost results by shifting their ad strategies.

Google recently hired Compete to carry out its Toy Shopper’s Journey Study. This comprehensive look at toy shopping covered a large number of consumers who had shopped for toys online during the past 6 months.

Nearly 2/3’s of toy gift givers start the shopping process by checking the list provided by their kids and they notice traditional ads on TV and in circulars. Within  a week of being exposed to traditional advertising, parents started searching online, often using Google. Here are the most popular kinds of sites accessed during the toy shopping process:

  • Social networks/​consumer review sites: 23%
  • Online retailer sites: 58%
  • Mass merchant sites: 53%
  • Search engines: 43%

The category of shoppers labeled ‘fanatical’ spent up to 2 weeks searching online, often checking more than 5 sites. These shoppers carried out their searches:

  • At home 63%
  • At work 28%
  • In restaurants 18%
  • In stores 15%
  • While commuting 10%

Consumers may have found the toys they were looking for but they didn’t always call their digital resources helpful. Here are the percentages of shoppers who said specific digital tools were extremely useful:

  • Search engine results: 26%
  • Online videos: 16%
  • Website ads: 14%

These numbers are not exactly impressive. By comparison, only 11% of surveyed shoppers said that TV ads were helpful.

While toy marketers may continue to drive traffic to online sites via traditional advertising, they should also want to consider making the digital resources more effective  in order to increase sales.

[Source: Kuckinskas, Susan. Google Says Mix of Traditional, Digital Ads Drive Toy Shopping. Clickz​.com. 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.