What Influences Parents as They Shop for TOYS? [Survey]

We've been toyin' around all week at Field Agent.

The week began with the release of our authoritative Q4 toys report, All Things Toys, in which we explored the attitudes and behaviors of the American toy shopper. The report is based on surveys with hundreds of parents and their children.   

Now, today, we're excited to share additional toy-shopping insights that do not appear in the Q4 toys report, as a bonus to our loyal blog readers. (By the way, did you know you can subscribe to receive instant blog updates from Field Agent?)

Specifically, to help toymakers and sellers better understand their customers, below we present findings on the chief influences over parents' toy purchases, followed by a more intensive examination of one such influencer: interactive toy displays and packaging.  

 

Influencers on Parents’ Toy Purchases 

Field Agent presented parents of 5-12-year-olds (N = 523) a list of 10 potential toy-purchase influences and asked, “Which of the following have a particularly strong influence on toy purchases you make for your child?”

At 85%, the child’s own wants and wishes topped the list, followed by price promotions/sales (72%). As Field Agent’s Special Q4 Toys Report explains, many parents give their kids considerable freedom to make their own toy choices, further suggesting children have no small amount of say-so in the toy-shopping process.Which of the following have a particularly STRONG influence on toy purchases you make for your child? [GRAPH]

Good for you, little Johnny and Susie

 

Rounding out the top 5, online ratings/reviews (48%), friends’/family members’ experiences/advice (41%), and interactive displays (i.e., for trying toys in stores; 37%) all have significant sway over parents’ toy purchases.

Field Agent found this last influence, interactive displays, particularly intriguing and decided to explore it more deeply.

 

What Role Do Interactive Displays, Packaging Play in Toy Purchases?

According to our research, nearly 6-of-10 parents (59%; N = 516) say interactive toy displays/packaging, that allow children (or, in some families, the parent) to play with the toy in-store prior to buying it, are either extremely or very influential to their toy-purchase decisions. An additional 31% said they're moderately important.  

From the outset of this research effort, Field Agent wondered whether parents would consider interactive toy displays and packaging (i.e., access to buttons, drawstrings) largely a blessing or a curse. The shopalong video below, in which parents took their little ones to a store to shop for and buy a toy, documents a few parents’ feelings on the topic.

 

 

Do Kids Agree with Their Parents?

To sum up, parents say interactive displays/packages are quite influential to their toy purchases.

But do their kids agree?

Field Agent also surveyed 5-12-year-olds (N = 523). Among other questions, which can all be viewed in the larger Q4 Toys Report, we asked, “When deciding whether you want a toy or not, how important is it to be able to try out the toy by playing with it first?”

Toy Display [AGENT PHOTO] 

Fully 44% of children said it’s either extremely or very important to be able to give a toy a whirl before buying it. Another 34% indicated it’s kind of important.

 

Taken together, then, Field Agent's research suggests shoppers like to audition toys before buying them. We can therefore add interactive ability to other major toy-purchase influences (child's wishes, prices, online reviews, and word-of-mouth), and we begin to understand some of the more prominent considerations among toy shoppers.  

 

Want Even More Toy-Shopping Insights?

Download Field Agent’s full Q4 toys report, All Things Toys: Parents & Kids Share Their Attitudes, Behaviors about Toy Shopping & Buying. The report covers a multitude of topics, including:

  • The preferred toy retailers of parents and kids
  • Boys' and girls' favorite toy franchises/brands
  • Kids' holiday toy wishes
  • The role of online shopping, omnichannel services in toy purchases
  • Parents' top toy-shopping priorities, frustrations

The report is free and available now. Download it today.

Free toy report - shopping and buying insights