Ryan Faist is the Content Marketing Manager for Channel Key, a full-service Amazon and Walmart Marketplace consulting agency. A nationally published and award-winning journalist, Mr. Faist writes about the latest developments in ecommerce, marketplace strategies, changes in consumer shopping trends, retail industry disruptions, and the overall shift toward online shopping. For daily Amazon news and e-commerce updates, follow Channel Key on LinkedIn.
Amazon has already sold more than 1 million toys from its 2021 Holiday Toys List, according to an October 13 post from the company’s Twitter account. The announcement comes as many retailers are still gearing up for holiday shopping. At Amazon, it is well underway, providing many toy brands and manufacturers a head start in the race to capture holiday toy sales.
How Amazon’s Toy List Gives Brands a Boost
Selling toys on Amazon is big business – especially during the holidays. In mid-September, the retail giant released its annual “Toys We Love” list. Packed with what it considers to be the season’s most anticipated items, the 2021 list features 170 new toys and games for children of all ages and interests, including 70+ family-friendly products found exclusively at Amazon.
The “Toys We Love” list provides visibility for selected brands just in time for holiday shopping. Featured products receive powerful (and free) exposure from national media outlets that report on the annual list and often sell out long before Black Friday. Amazon distinguishes these items with a dedicated online store that provides easy navigation for customers with numerous search filters.
One of the most important things for toy brands to understand is that Amazon is much more than an online marketplace. It is a giant search engine that millions of customers use to research products. According to a Jungle Scout study, nearly 3 out of 4 customers begin their product searches on Amazon, while a 2020 Kantar study found that 44% of toy shoppers research products on the platform regardless of where they make their final purchase.
It should be no surprise that the holidays are the busiest shopping season of the year for Amazon, and toys are a big part of it. The National Retail Foundation found that almost 40% of holiday shoppers planned to give toys as gifts in 2020, with 32% purchasing at least one toy during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. While Amazon avoids releasing revenue data for specific categories, it is safe to assume many of these sales took place on its marketplace.
Last year was a record-breaking holiday season for Amazon. In a lengthy blog post, the company reported that small and medium-sized business sales reached $4.8 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 60% year-over-year increase. When all was said and done, Amazon reported over $125 billion in revenue for Q4 of 2020, crossing the $100 billion milestone for the first time.
Predictions for the 2021 Holiday Shopping Season on Amazon
Amazon says its mission is to become the most customer-centric company on Earth. In practicality, its mission is expansion. Imagine a future where anyone in the world could place an order and receive it the same day. This is Amazon’s goal. To reach it, the retail giant has been investing heavily in logistics. UBS reported that Amazon invested $35 billion in warehouses and aircraft last year, which is more than twice what it spent on similar projects in 2019. In August, Amazon announced it is on track to buy over $120 billion in equipment for logistics sites, supplies for corporate offices, and services for construction, design, and engineering projects by the end of this year.
While Amazon is focused on long-term goals, its efforts prime the platform to handle more orders this holiday season than ever before. In 2020, Amazon experienced such high demand that it caused shipping delays for customers. This year, the company has removed many of these barriers, which has enabled the marketplace to promote early holiday sales with more confidence. By all accounts, this appears to be working. It’s only October and Amazon is already boasting over a million holiday toy sales. By December, this number will be much higher. For toy brands with strong Amazon marketplace strategies in place, the 2021 holiday season will truly be the most wonderful time of the year.