From Dolls to Drones, Barbies to Balls…Ecommerce Searching for Toys & Gaming

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By Kathryn Koegel, Mom & Director of Content, HookLogic


shopkin 2Every year there are breakout hits in Toys & Gaming that sell out. Parents never want to be the ones left empty handed when the holidays hit. HookLogic data from August and September gives insights into what may come in Q4. The holiday toy ads start running during this period, and kids begin to develop their must-haves and make up their lists. Parents become avid shoppers early in the season to qualify what their children want.

When you look at the list of the top 25 terms searched within ecommerce sites for Toys & Gaming, they reflect a mix of nostalgic brands reinvented and recent innovations.  In the top three positions, Shopkins, Pokemon and LEGO have very similar numbers of searches.  Shopkins (#1) has a lot of SKUs as there are apparel tie-ins and limited-edition figures continually released and demanded by kids.  Pokémon Go brought a brand that dates to 1996 back into the forefront, while LEGO is a perennial favorite constantly reinventing itself through licensing deals. “Hot Wheels” (#8) and Barbie (#20) are the other brands who’ve survived the test of time as they first gained traction in the 1960s.

Movies always drive sales and Frozen (#6) is a testament to Disney’s ability to create princesses with staying power.  “Ghostbusters” has clearly re-captured the imagination in its recent incarnation and comes in at #13. Interestingly, it achieves a clean lead over “Star Wars” (#27) – which was so hotly sought after last holiday season.  “Batman” is the only Super Hero to make the list, but perhaps there are so many of them now that they are creating a long tail of product searching.

Sneaking in at #30 is the “Drone,” which indeed defies the standard classifications:  three years ago when this taxonomy was created by Google, the category did not exist. We had to surface it from “Digital Cameras,” where it clearly does not belong. With toy to full-on aircraft SKUs for hundreds of dollars, these products could drive high cart values in Q4.

The number of broad terms like “Doll,” “Swing,” “Cars” and “Balls” indicate that there are lots of opportunities for marketers to influence choice as these customers have not yet developed their specific brand or product preferences in the category.

For Gaming, the most searched term, “headphones”, reflects the expansion of the product category into high end models that both kids and adults want to improve the experience of Gaming as well as listening to music on ubiquitous smartphones. The next seven terms relate to Game Consoles that are likely to be the “big gift” for kids from 6 to 60 this holiday. “Overwatch”, a new Gaming title released before Q4 is the most searched for Gaming content, besting more longstanding favorites like “Legends of Zelda,” “Sonic” the hedgehog and “Yo Kai,” a game for little kids. Making the list at #22 is “VR”: there may be no new Game Console arrivals this holiday, but parents will be improving the Gaming experience with goggles at their kids request.

For a complete category deep dive including cart stats by sub-category, download the full report: Toys & Gaming, A Complete Play by Place Guide.

Tags: ecommerce, Gaming, Toys,