It’s no surprise that toy sales spike during the holidays, and you don’t need a genius to tell you that it’s important to be ready. However, there are more ways to prepare for the holiday season than just wait around for it to hit. Statistically, shoppers and buyers do a significant amount of their product research and even purchasing during the fall. So, as the saying goes, the time is now, and here are a few ways for you to get ahead of the game.
Get an Early Start:
Just last month the toy season was kicked off by the annual Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. If you weren’t able to participate, it is still a good idea to do some research and find out which toys, games, and products made the biggest splash. The next year’s hottest and most desirable toys will have been promoted and you don’t want to miss your chance to present them to your customers. Do some research and get head start on the competition so that you won’t be left behind. It also may be benefical for you to look ahead to the 2019 Toy Fair in February where even more of the most innovative and amazing new products will be. This way you’ll be ready for the following season and ready to go when it hits.
It is also important for buyers to see your products as much as possible before they begin considering to buy them, so begin advertising early. The holiday shopping season spikes the week before Thanksgiving, with a majority of online shopping happening during this time. But most shoppers begin researching and finding the products they want weeks ahead of this. It is important to get your product awareness out there and into the minds of shoppers before the shopping bug hits. That way, when the shopping frenzy begins, people will remember where they first saw the product they’ve been yearning for and where to get it.
Additionally, it is extremely helpful for your customers to be able to find all the information they need about your products from you, so be sure to consider the following as well.
Know Your Products, and Your Audience
You don’t only want to carry the best products; you also want to be able to tell your customers about them! Know how the toys work, how to play each game, and, most importantly, who you’re selling to. How you choose to market each product is very important to who you think will most likely buy it. Look up some statistics, find out the specific group it was designed for, and market it to them. Also, make sure that you understand the mechanics and play quality of the toys you sell. You want to be able to answer any questions a buyer might have about them. So roll up your sleeves and enjoy some playtime. Your customers will appreciate you for it!
Furthermore, it is important to promote positive reviews of the product that you carry so that shoppers can be confident in their decision to buy it. While you don’t ever want to fake reviews, it’s helpful to find people who enjoyed the products and let them share their stories for other potential buyers. It also helps ease any worries that shoppers might have against the products and answer any questions they might have. Make sure that reviews are easily accessible and readily available to your customer so they won’t just have to take your word for it. Let them hear from fellow shoppers if they’ll like a product or not and they’ll be even more willing to trust you and the products you sell.
Just because toy sales spike during the peak holiday weeks, that doesn’t mean you have to give up the rest of the year. Always encourage your buyers to think ahead to the next big holiday or to the newest toys that are being created and distributed. This is why events like the Toy Fair and the Fall Toy Preview are so important to your business; so that you can stay ahead of the game and always promote the next big thing in your business. You can always be looking ahead to the holidays by planting the seed of preparedness to your shoppers and pushing the idea that you can never begin shopping too early.
Another great way to market toys during the non-holiday season is to use cultural motivations like Christmas in July and even “Un-birthdays” to encourage toy sales. Promotions that play to the sensibilities of adults are always useful so you should use that to your advantage with nostalgic themes that remind parents and adults of simpler times. The importance of play should always be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy and as long as you remember that having fun is what people yearn for, you will finish each year strong and ready for the next.