Eva Lorenz, AmazonThe Toy Book (TTB): How are you engaging consumers to drive sales?

Eva Lorenz (EL): Amazon customers, particularly busy parents, appreciate having the ability to shop on their own time and from the comfort of their own home or while on-the-go using a mobile device. They also love having access to the largest selection of products and all the information they needcomprehensive product details, high-resolution images, video content, and customer reviews–to make informed purchasing decisions. We consistently deliver on these promises to customers, which has earned their trust and keeps them coming back to shop on Amazon.

In addition, we are constantly observing and listening to customers so that we can continue to improve their shopping experience. One major trend we have seen lately is the growth of mobile shopping. Nearly 60 percent of amazon.com customers shopped using a mobile device during the 2014 holiday season. On Cyber Monday alone, Amazon customers worldwide ordered more than 18 toys per second using a mobile device! As more and more customers browse the latest toys and games on their smartphones and tablets, we are enhancing the discovery and research experience with new editorial content from in-house product experts and toy enthusiasts. These are Amazon employees who live and breathe toys and games every single day–they are in regular contact with manufacturers to hear about the latest innovations, and are always testing new products and keeping up with industry trends. Our goal is to leverage their passion for toys and games to help customers discover something new, even while they are on-the-go. Examples of new editorial content include our Best Toys of the Month feature and personal anecdotes in the 2014 Holiday Toy List.

And on the topic of the Holiday Toy List, another great example of how we are engaging consumers is our work with the Amazon Moms community. For the second year in a row, we asked members via Facebook to identify their favorite toys and games so we could feature them in the 2014 Holiday Toy List. In 2013, we enabled customers to apply an Amazon Mom Picks filter in the Holiday Toy List, and that refinement turned out to be one of the most highly-utilized filters, used more by customers than price/discount-related refinements! In 2014, we created an entire section of the Holiday Toy List dedicated to top products chosen by Amazon Moms.

TTB: Did the number of popular toys this holiday help drive additional toy sales, or were consumers set on only purchasing those particular top sellers?

EL: Our goal is to offer the widest selection of products, including the most sought-after and hard-to-find toys, at great prices and in the most convenient fashion. Customers purchased everything from Disney Frozen toys to the Funko POP! Marvel: Dancing Groot Bobble Action Figure. The most popular toys and games from amazon.com during the 2014 holiday season included the Disney Frozen Sparkle Princess Elsa Doll, the Anki DRIVE Starter Kit Smart Robot Car Racing Game, and the Bounce-Off Game.

Because we have more than a million toys and games in stock and ready to ship directly to customers, we put together the annual Holiday Toy List as a resource to help shoppers discover the products that best suit their individual needs. It allows customers to filter by category, brand, age, gender, price range, and discount.

This past holiday season, Amazon offered more deals than ever before on the toys and games customers want with deals every single day. In fact, customers benefited from low prices all season long with more than 25,000 Lightning Deals. Amazon customers also saved more than $2 billion this past holiday season on free two-day shipping through Amazon Prime and other free shipping offers.

TTB: What categories were driving sales in 2014?

EL: Several toy trends emerged last year, including products related to the latest entertainment. Disney Frozen, Transformers, Star Wars, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were among the most popular. In fact, Amazon customers purchased enough Disney Frozen Sparkle Princess Elsa Dolls to reach the top of Cinderella’s castle 855 times! There were also a number of pretty incredible innovations introduced in 2014–everything from wearable technology products like the LeapFrog LeapBand and VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch to robotic toys such as the Zoomer Dino and Chatsters Gabby Interactive Doll. We also started to see interest from customers in personalized 3-D printed toys such as the Create Your Own 3D Printed Mixee Me and Create Your Own 3D Printed Bobble Head With Mixee Bobbler. In addition, the Maker Movement continued to gain traction in the industry with MaKey MaKey items, new littleBits products, and Modular Robotics kits. Newly-launched active play toys such as the Nerf Combat Creatures TerraDrone, BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster, and Zing Toys FireTek Rocket also generated a lot of excitement among Amazon customers throughout 2014.

TTB: How do you differentiate your toy department from the average retail toy department?

EL: More and more consumers are doing research online before making purchase decisions and amazon.com is a central location people turn to for product information, customer reviews, and competitive pricing on the widest selection of products. This is especially true for families that want the most convenient shopping experience–avoiding busy parking lots, crowded stores, and long checkout lines–so they can spend more time together.

Consumers have access to far more information about any given product on amazon.com compared to your average retail toy department. We offer millions of trusted customer reviews, detailed product pages, the ability to see what other customers also viewed or purchased, and much more. In addition, we can showcase an entire collection of products–our selection continues to grow as we are not limited by shelf space. Our toys and games store features more than 1 million products and customers have the ability to shop by age, favorite brands, new products, and best-sellers to find just what they are looking for.

For customers who want to support their favorite charitable organizations every time they shop, they can visit AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com and find the exact same Amazon they know and love–with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the charity of their choice. Since launching, AmazonSmile has generated millions of dollars in donations.

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