With the festive shopping season in full swing, it is a critical time of year for brands in the Toys & Games category. With greater choice and more deals, shoppers are turning to online as their preferred means of holiday shopping, and the Toys category is no exception to this trend.

We analysed the Toys & Games category in five global eCommerce markets (US, UK, China, France and Germany), and identified the key areas brands need to focus on to win online this holiday seasons. For a full analysis, please download our Toys and Games Global Online Category Report

How Toy Brands Win the Digital Shelf: Minimising Lost Sales through Out-of-Stocks

As we enter the busiest trading time of the year for Toys & Games, stock levels and Availability come under significant pressure. The analysis revealed that even leading brands are missing an opportunity through Availability, with LEGO in the UK saw 14% of SKUs out-of-stock.

Daily monitoring and measuring of this key metric is essential to quickly identify any issues, and adjust stock volumes. Availability scores across the leading brands in Europe are high, with the Top 5 brands across markets averaging Availability in excess of 93%.

How Toy Brands Win the Digital Shelf: Appearing Top of Search Rankings

With the majority of purchases coming from the first page of Search returns it is vital for brands to place in the Top 15-20 positions. Availability, Product Content, and Sales are among the driving factors behind Search rankings, hence brands need to ensure they take a holistic view of performance to win.

Brands optimising on Search in the US across both Boys’ and Girls’ Toys included VTech and Fisher-Price. These brands featured prominently amongst first page Search returns, occupying prime ‘consideration’ positions.

In China, brands winning on Search across genders were more differentiated than the US. BanBao was the only brand to have a presence in both boys’ and girls’ Search rankings. Big players like LEGO perform well for boys’ Search terms while Chinese Toys companies like XinLei and Auby also rank in the Top 5 of girls’ toys Search returns.

How Toy Brands Win the Digital Shelf: High Volume, High Quality Ratings & Reviews:

Ratings & Reviews are a recognised ‘go to’ resource for prospective online shoppers looking for direction at the point of purchase. A recent Clavis Insight survey found that over 20% of shoppers consider the presence of Ratings & Reviews as importance as basic Product Content (such as Names, Details and Warnings), when influencing their purchase decision.

The research also showed that a brands who fail to generate the required number, and quality of positive reviews* are at risk of losing out.

* A product is defined as positively reviewed if it has more than 20 reviews and above a 4.0 star average rating.

Analysis of EMEA markets revealed that Ratings & Reviews was an underdeveloped, and utilised area in both Germany & France, compared to other UK. This presents a big opportunity for brands in these markets to ‘step-change’ and lead the category on this proven driver of ‘add to basket’.

How Toy Brands Win the Digital Shelf: Strong Product Content

It is critical that brands deliver an engaging shopping experience via their product page content. Focussing on the basics of complete product names, descriptions and warnings will not only provide shoppers with the information they are looking for but also positively impact on Search performance.

The Top Five US Brands for both Boys’ and Girls’ Toys performed above average on Product Content. However, all brands can look to Product Content as an area to be improved upon, with no single brand delivering a ‘best in class’ experience.

Product Content optimization can not only deliver a more engaging shopping experience, but also help improve Search performance. Optimizing product names is proven to drive improvements in Search rankings. By focusing on this area of Product Content, Toy brands will see the positive impact on Search performance.

For a full analysis, please download our Toys and Games Global Online Category Report

by John Neilson
Global Head of Professional Services