It’s easy to say that it’s been a pretty tough couple of years for everyone. Back in 2020 we were basically buying everything online and, eventually, as the country began to open up again we slowly started going into actual stores. But, one thing that stood out to us? Parents shopping for the must-have toy for their kids leading up to Christmas online took place virtually at the same time as it had over the past 5 years.
How Did We Figure This Out?
Sure, we kind of consider ourselves toy experts around here. We’ve been curating our own “best of” toys list each and every year since 2016. We even review individual toys prior to them being released (yes, we’re looking at you LOL Dolls and just about everything Baby Yoda).
Outside of our own knack for choosing the best of the best, we actually also have access to a wide variety of data. Go figure! We’re currently an affiliate partner for top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Macys – just to name a few. In fact, we currently have partnerships with more than 1,000 different retailers both here in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and more.
So what’s the point of all this? No, not bragging. We wish we were that exciting. But, the point is that we have access to our own data tied to these retailers. For this info, we’re looking specifically at toy (and games) data. We’re talking about things like:
Don’t worry, we don’t have any access to your personal info like who you are, what your email is, etc. The data that comes in is anonymous in that way. And, in case you haven’t noticed, we don’t serve up any ads on our site, so there isn’t any type of retargeting, etc that follows you around from our site. How annoying is that anyway?!
So, What Did We Specifically Look At?
As you can suspect, there’s a ton of info available – but we decided to keep it super-simple. So, here’s what we specifically looked at:
Pretty basic, right? Well it’s more intricate than you’d think, but we wanted to make it as easy as possible for everyone to digest and understand. Since a lot of this info is proprietary and personal to us, we’re going to leave some data like specific traffic numbers on our site, etc. Don’t worry, you’ll still get a lot of helpful info (hopefully!).
Enough is Enough – Show Us the Date!
Drumroll please! We’ve broken down the above data into some pretty digestible charts starting with:
We first looked at our total toy-related traffic coming to our site each month over the course of the year. This included traffic areas like:
- Direct traffic
- Search traffic
- Referral traffic
- Social traffic
As you can see from the handy-dandy chart above, we see our biggest increase in toy-related traffic growing strongly in August – and then continuing to grow each month after that until the typical holiday season. In fact, we’ve seen an increase of 6x the amount of toy traffic from the previous month(s).
Specifically in the month of August, we’ve seen the biggest uptick in traffic on Monday, August 10th. When we compared to previous years (the past 3) it’s also been the 2nd Monday of August. For us, we also see toy traffic peak in November. Specifically, leading up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday hits all-time highs and then we see the biggest drop (typically) starting between Dec 20 – 22nd, which makes sense because most of us online are frantic about getting our gifts on time, wrapped, and put under the tree for Christmas morning!
Next up, we’re looking specifically at toy sales.
Similar to the above toy-traffic chart, we see a mirroring toy-sale chart in regards to that August uptick and mid-December decline. Keep in mind, this data includes the thousands of retailers we have partnerships with, including Amazon. However, if a user went from our site to a retail site that we do not have a partnership with we would have no way of knowing that data, if they bought anything, etc. Overall, no surprises here!
If you’re interested (as we were) we wanted to learn more about how our readers were buying online, specifically if they were shopping via their phone/tablet or regular desktop/laptop computer. Here’s what we found and why we were surprised.
Overall, 80% of our toy sales were made via our readers desktops/laptops as compared to mobile devices. This surprised us because our overall traffic is typically the exact opposite of that. Meaning, usually 80% of our traffic comes from mobile devices. However, as you can see most sales are taking place not on mobile devices. On a personal note, we seldom buy anything via our phone. There’s something we feel more confident about when buying from our laptop. More control, perhaps?
Lastly, just for fun we wanted to see who was doing the buying. Were more women shopping for toys or was it men?
I mean, did we really need a chart or to comb through data to know this?! To no surprise, 85% of toy sales are made via women. Our educated guess is because – let’s be honest – it’s mostly women that are stuck having to do all the holiday shopping and, well, basically everything in life. Us guys are the worst. Per usual.
Ok, we’ll stop rambling. We’ve always been fascinated by how early parents really do shop for toys for Christmas. Years ago we assumed “early” would have been the day after Halloween but, clearly, we were wrong. This year, more than ever, our recommendation is to shop early to make sure you get your hands on that must-have item – especially with all the toy shortages we’ve been hearing about lately. Just be sure to keep your receipts because if they go on sale, typically, many retailers would credit your account for the difference if it falls within their purchase date/return policies. It’s never too early, apparently, to get a jump start on all your Christmas shopping. Don’t just leave it up to Santa at the last minute!