Study: Toys were big play for Amazon in 2017
Toy sales may be stagnated in the United States, yet Amazon’s marketshare continues to grow.
The online giant pulled in an estimated $4.5 billion in U.S. toys sales during 2017. This represents an increase of 12% over 2016, according to One Click Retail’s “Toys On Amazon: 2017 Review” report.
The nation’s largest toy store retailer, Toys “R” Us, declared bankruptcy in 2017 as Amazon’s market share kept growing. The online giant is now responsible for roughly one out of every six dollars spent on toys in America, according to data.
The most disruptive toy categories of 2017 — and those that will likely be trending for 2018 — include:
• Robotics. In 2017, the robotic toys category grew by 32%. Although it is a relatively small category with only $50 million in estimated sales, last year’s two bestselling toys were both intelligent robots for kids: Cozmo by Anki and Lego Mindstorms EV3.
• Active Play. The fastest-growing toy category of 2017 was outdoor & sports toys with 46% growth. This is the countertrend to touchscreen technologies that tend to dominate the toy industry, and suggests that parents are making an effort to encourage more physical activity, according to the study.
However, toy sales during January on Amazon.com uncovered a surprising trend: the return of traditional toys. The latest craze is a new take on a traditional doll, L.O.L Surprise! (big version), which ranks as the top toy for January 2018. This helped drive 23% growth in dolls/girls toys in 2017.
In 2017, infant/preschool climbed from No. 3 to become Amazon’s largest toy category with $650 million in estimated sales. As Amazon’s core demographic, millennials, are now having children, the Infant/Preschool category is expected to grow substantially in 2018, according to One Click Retail.
“Of the top five toys on Amazon this January, four are strictly non-digital, and none involve robotics or touchscreen technologies.” said Nathan Rigby, VP at One Click Retail. “Whether this signals a major shift in the toys market or is just a temporary lull in the dominance of robotics and screens is yet to be determined.”
Report: Amazon Prime lead will spend time with Whole Foods team
Amazon is taking another step to integrate its business within Whole Foods Markets.
Greg Greeley, VP of Amazon Prime and delivery experience, will be spending more of his time at Whole Foods. His role: he will primarily focus on making Amazon Prime a major part of Whole Foods’ customer rewards program, according to CNBC.
It’s unclear if Greeley’s title will change, or whether his appointment will affect Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s role, the report said.
The announcement comes on the heels of Amazon launching two-hour deliveries of Whole Foods groceries through its Prime Now service. The program is currently available in four markets, but will expand during 2018.
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Report: Walmart pushes $10-and-up pricing online—to stay profitable
A discount giant may be moving away from offering the lowest prices online.
Walmart is asking vendors to supply it with more merchandise priced at $10 and up. This is part of a major push to finally turn a profit at its online business, according to Reuters.
Sources told Reuters that Walmart is especially focused on dry grocery products, such as sauces, soaps and general merchandise items, including toys and home furnishings. Walmart’s goal is to see higher profit margins selling these more expensive items, given the built-in cost of delivering goods purchased online.
By offering the lowest prices online on every item, Walmart is incurring a shipping cost of $4 or $5. “It is not sustainable, and more importantly their shareholders won’t allow it,” one source said in the report.
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