With customers that include individual buyers, resellers, and schools located across six continents and in over 130 countries, Joylabz, creator of Makey Makey, needed a robust order management solution to help streamline shipping operations.Read the Case Study
All retail markets are influenced by changing economics, but the toy and game industry has a unique set of drivers that contribute to its stability: demography, in particular birth rates, and cultural shifts, with reference to the fact that increasing numbers of children turn to digital outlets and devices to occupy time, rather than focusing attention exclusively on physical toys and games.
Global birth rates have steadily declined in recent decades, and while this trend arguably impacts all areas of the market, toy and game companies absorb the impact early, as they rely on the world’s youngest consumers to drive profits. Lower birth rates combined with increasing numbers of digital toys, games, and programs competing for the attention of young consumers, toy and game companies must be strategic in order to win sales and remain not only relevant, but competitive.
Despite challenging circumstances, in 2014, the US retail sales of toys and games alone generated over 18 billion USD, up four percent from 2013, according to the NPD Group. Globally, the industry generated over 150 billion USD in 2013, and according to Euromonitor, growth is projected to continue through 2018.
Toy and game industry growth has been made possible through strategic planning and a few key shifts.
Expanding sales channels
In order to reach more people and to cater to the lifestyles of consumers, the industry is shifting to engage with new sales channels. By selling through traditional retail channels as well as selling through more e-commerce sales channels, companies can expand their audiences and do so with more efficiency.
Brand extension and cross-platform products
While children playing with mobile devices rather than physical toys and games at increasingly early ages could be detrimental to companies selling physical toys, the opportunity exists to transfer digital brands, concepts, and characters into physical toys. Cross-platform toys are also being developed to enable simultaneous tangible and virtual experiences and to offer new ways of experiencing what historically have been exclusively digital interactions. Cross platform toys are in early stages of production and adoption and further growth is anticipated. Adding to the shift in types of popular toys, the demand for technical, scientific, and educational toys is increasing — youth electronic sales grew by 13 percent in 2014, according to NPD — and innovation and profit are expected to continue in alignment with market interest.
Beyond channel expansion, product extension, and innovation, toy and game companies may also look to new develop additional consumer profiles and make begin catering to them. In particular, young adults offer untapped opportunity in the toy and game market. According to The Economist, in 2011, consumers 20 and older accounted for nearly a quarter of toy and game sales in Japan. Toy and game companies have yet to market to this demographic on a global scale, and doing so requires the ability to provide fast order fulfillment.
Expanding sales channels to include online retail options solves the toy and game industry’s problem in terms of accessing broader audiences. However, since North American and Western European sales are predicted to remain flat, emerging markets offer the greatest opportunity for growth. Asia Pacific is anticipated to become the world’s largest traditional toy market and Brazil expected to overtake both the United Kingdom and France, but enabling sales in foreign markets is only the first step in achieving success.
When selling internationally and competing with local companies, e-commerce order fulfillment must be accurate and efficient. Shipwire offers enterprise-grade storage and fulfillment solutions for brands looking to expand their global reach. Our growing network of international fulfillment centers are strategically located to enable fast enable shipping to emerging markets. Shipwire is offers a state-of-the-art cloud-based order management platform that integrates with 90+ top shopping carts and marketplaces.
By using Shipwire for your toy and game fulfillment, you can:
Types of products and integrations
Shipwire has helped many toy and game companies with their global order fulfillment and shipping needs and has worked with products including, but not limited to:
To discover more fulfillment resources, explore some of our topic-based collections or browse our resource library.