Toys ‘R’ Us: Importance of Search Marketing for Toy Retailers

Last month, The Nielsen Company released its findings from a survey about spending habits of parents when it comes to children. Spending is a thorny topic during recession. But just like cheap dining or wedding preparations, baby and child care consumers seem unperturbed and unaffected. These customers are basically parents who want the best for their kids.

The survey by The Nielsen Company showed that besides school related fees, seven in 10 parents said they also spend on additional learning tools and tutorial classes for their children, over 80 percent spend on toys and entertainment for their children and over half spend on extra-curriculum activities such as sports and musical instruments learning etc. This translates to an average of HK$3,000 monthly spend for each child.

With steady stream of potential customers, retailers and service providers of baby- and child-related products have every opportunity to improve sales from various marketing channels. This group of retailers and service providers include:

* Toys (dolls, robots, remote control, educational)
* Educational (books, school supplies)
* Academic tutorials (Math, Mandarin, English)
* Activities (skating, painting, swimming, ballet)
* Clothing (shoes, uniforms)
* Baby food (milk, cereal, snacks)

For example, let’s look at TOYS"Я"US website in Hong Kong. The brand name itself is globally known but can we guarantee that everybody knows if Toys R Us sells educational toys or there is even a Toys R Us shop in Hong Kong? For someone who don’t know where to find educational toys in Hong Kong, a possible search query is “educational toys hong kong”.

educational-toys

From Google search results above, Toys R Us does not appear on first page, even if the website has a special section for educational toys:

toys-r-us

So instead of going to Toys R Us, visitors would go to ItsImagical.com.hk, HKTDC or TradeEasy, websites whose pages rank on top of Google search results. But of course, if people know Toys R Us sells these products, they would probably use “toys r us educational toys” instead of generic terms.

Hong Kong’s birth rate is low, so each child born is treated like a prince through toys and comprehensive care for well-being that even parents have to cut back on their own expenses. While this may sound bad for businesses like cosmetics, jewellery, luxury products or fine dining, but it’s definitely good news to business associated with babies and kids. There lies an opportunity for these retailers. But unless they don’t appear prominently on search results, they lose the opportunity.