Retail Intelligence: 53% Of Parents Will Buy Christmas Toys Online

New research by ResearchBods has revealed that 53 per cent of parents will buy their children’s Christmas toys online this year. Parents said they would not significantly cut back on gift spending, despite the tightened household budgets.

The research, which was commissioned for the UK-based online retail newspaper Retail Gazette, confirms the trend in consumers going online to search for the best-priced products throughout 2011.


Supermarkets were the second most popular choice with 40 per cent of parents saying they would buy toys there while just over one-third of those surveyed said they would go to brick-and-mortar toy shops.

"The increase in online shopping is in line with general shopping trends and so we would expect to see an increase here over last Christmas," ResearchBods Director Robin Hilton told Profitero.  Online allows shoppers to search for the best bargains they can find in a short space of time, he explained. "For mums especially, we are seeing that they want to treat their children and give them presents they really desire, as the parents ability to do this throughout the rest of the year has been limited as many families look to limit their spending."

Best Selling Toys - November 2011:

Leappad Explorer Tablet - Leapfrog
Innotab Learning Tablet - VTech
Kiddizoom Twist Digital - VTech
Fur Real Cookie Pup - Hasbro
The Logo Board Game - Drumond Park
Innotab Software - VTech
Moshi Monsters Moshling Figures - Vivid Imaginations
Fijit - Mattel
Airhogs Vectron Wave - Spin Master UK
Ninjago Fire Temple - Lego
(Source: NPD Group)

With online retail continuing to become a more accepted way of shopping as concerns over internet fraud diminish, the level of service has improved, said Hilton.  "Supermarkets are also adding to this trend in their promotion of online for the weekly shop; this has also converted traditional shoppers and introduced them to the convenience of shopping online."

Journalist Fiona Looney wrote of her love for shopping online in a recent issue of the Mail on Sunday magazine TV Week. "I love Amazon," she wrote. "I also love how easy Amazon is." When shopping online for Christmas toys, she noted how online retailers adjusted their prices upwards or downwards, depending on the availability of the toy on competitor websites. "It goes without saying that it [Rapunzel Tangled Tower] was sold out absolutely everywhere else. Parents have told me how Santa had to write to their children to explain why certain toys weren't available."

Monthly retail figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) highlights eCommerce as being a key area that is experiencing huge growth over the second half of 2011; online sales now represent 12.2 per cent of the industry according to the ONS with the average weekly spend on online retailing having increased to £787.9 million from £546.4 million in October. Such results drive home the need for brick-and-mortar retailers to develop an online presence in order to develop competitive pricing intelligence strategies to capture some of this growth.

Having the ability to carry out competitor monitoring on prices across leading eCommerce sites is a huge benefit of shopping online. With the many bargains to be got online, it's no wonder that parents are opening their laptops - instead of taking the car out of the garage  - to do the toy shopping ahead of December 25th.

Figure 1: Profitero price benchmark: LEGO: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

© 2011 Profitero
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About Profitero
Pricing intelligence company Profitero works with retailers and manufacturers to help them increase sales and maximise their profits by using competitor price, promotions and stock information at scale. For more information on Profitero price intelligence and competitor monitoring, visit www.profitero.com or email sales@profitero.com.