The wish-list opportunity

connect - engage - inspire

The wish-list opportunity

Online retail has failed to capture the wish-list opportunity.

It’s an ideal means to close the loop from a child wanting a toy to communicating that ‘want’ in to an accurate request for their parent, however, kids are showing their parents what they want on websites, but not searching independently or using online shopping baskets or ‘adding to favourites’.

The barriers which obstruct progress for wish-lists are both prompted by parents’ concerns and limited by the ability of kids to read and write. Solutions do exist which can overcome both these barriers and improve web usability, ease of navigation and search, suitable and safe for kids”.

Only 11% of Italian kids and 13% of UK kids use an online wish-list, despite a push by many in the toy industry to direct traffic to online wish-list tools.

No parent wants to buy something which, it turns out, their child doesn’t want. 79% of UK parents and 73% of Italian parents have had to deal with toys gifted to their child which the child then rejected. This explains why 69% of UK and 68% of Italian parents agree that kids advertising is positive overall, helpful in giving them a better idea of what their child wants and a chance to hear or see the name of the toy first hand themselves. Millennial parents, in particular, welcome advertising to kids (73% of UK and 72% of Italian millennial parents agree).

There are risks involved when buying any gifts for Christmas, not just for parents in making a gifting faux pas, but also for their friends and family. What if a child makes a request and then changes their mind? What if they can’t remember the name of the brand or the product they want, and can only supply a vague description in a few, ambiguous words? What if the parent is unable to easily identify and source the items at a good price when they are shopping, perhaps because navigation online or instore is made too difficult by the volume of choice, poor layout and range architecture at retail?

82% of UK parents and 83% of Italian parents in 2018 opted to stick with buying only the toys which their kids had asked for, whether they were requested via a wish list, a verbal request, pointed out on a screen or in store. Two thirds of kids felt that they had got all the toys that they had asked for, leaving over 30% thinking that they had missed out on some of their requests.

So, we interviewed 1,360 parents of kids aged 3-10, in the immediate aftermath of Christmas 2018, to get a clearer understanding of the factors influencing their toy shopping behaviour and how brands can connect those dots between shopper and consumer.

In 2019, The Gift Report turned its attention to Italy and UK, both countries showing distinct toy market symptoms and changes in consumer-shopper attitudes and behaviour. UK toy sales fell by 7% (source: NPD), contributed to by the uncertainty of Brexit and demise of Toys R Us, whilst Italy’s retail landscape is being reshaped by shopper migration to online retailers, and a closer resemblance to the retail landscape of its European neighbours.

We’ve been tracking consumer and brand trends globally for over 15 years and this year we teamed up with Kidz Global to select two countries to put under the spotlight in its seasonal shopper survey, The Gift Report, to answer your questions.

So, what more can brands do to connect the dots between parent shopper and kid consumer, to create that confidence?

The volume and frequency of accompanied (child and parent) store visits has declined; catalogues have reduced their print quantity; advertising audiences have dispersed across multiple channels and devices; and kids have become more adept and accustomed to skipping the adverts as soon as they appear.

The more confident a parent feels in knowing what their kids want, the more comfortable they are to spend, spend, spend.