Toys ‘R’ Us shocked the nation when they filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, and since then, their collapse has been making headlines. But the downfall of one of the largest toy retailers in the country could mean more business opportunities for small entrepreneurs. To accommodate the growing demand for quality toys, business owners can now apply for toy business loans that give them additional working capital.
However, larger retailers like Amazon and Walmart also benefited greatly from the closing of Toys ‘R’ Us. In order to generate more sales for your toy business, here are five action steps you can immediately implement.
1. Tap into Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is a growing trend that works perfectly for the gaming and toy industry. This kind of marketing strategy involves creating an emotional attachment between your customers and products through experience. For toy retailers, it simply means letting your customers play. Experiential marketing has become more popular in the past few years because it works. In fact, Forbes stated back in 2017 that experiential marketing is a rising marketing trend.
2. Employ Attentive Staff
Some of your customers need assistance when it comes to the toys they want to purchase. It’s important to instill alertness and initiative in your current and potential employees. They should be able to assist customers that seem confused and in need of assistance without hesitation. Since toy retailers mostly cater to children and families, a warm, friendly, and lively personality is also an important factor.
3. Create Loyalty Programs for Shoppers
One way to keep your customers coming back for more is to offer loyalty programs. Through the years, customer loyalty programs have proven to be winners. In fact, studies show that 62% of consumers in the United States would join a fee-based rewards program from their preferred retailer. Additionally, 47% think that paid loyalty programs are better than free versions. Keep in mind that the success of your loyalty program depends on many factors. You need to show them compelling reasons to keep coming back through the quality of the products and services you offer.
4. Find Your Niche Market
Unlike Toys ‘R’ Us, most small toy companies don’t offer a wide selection of toys. The best thing business owners can do is to leverage your specialty. It’s better to sell high-quality toys consumers can’t find elsewhere, which will make your store unique, causing it to stand out, over and above your competitors. Determine your store’s competitive advantage and highlight it.
5. Get Ahead of New Trends
With proper research, you’ll be able to see which toys and games are a hit, and which ones are a miss. There are content delivery platforms that give you the latest games and toys as soon as they’re on the market. This allows you to see which toys will be potential winners, i.e. money makers.
6. Create Interactive Videos on YouTube
Ever heard of Ryan’s Toy Reviews? As of 2017, the kid makes $11 million a year by reviewing toys. Millions of kids and parents all over the world watch Ryan and his family play. This goes to show that YouTube is a great avenue for toy retailers. Other than sending your products to YouTubers, you can even create your own channel where you can create your own shows showcasing your toys.
As years passed, YouTubers have created unique video formats. From unboxing videos, shopping hauls, to product reviews, tests, and even live streaming. These types of videos are effective because they’re highly interactive. YouTubers often ask their followers to respond to comments and questions.
7. Create an Account on Instagram
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the strategies you use on YouTube will work well on Instagram. Since Instagram is a huge network, you can use it to connect to both parents and children. One of the ways to do so is to run a toy giveaway and connect with an influencer. When Instagram influencers giveaway products to their followers, they often ask them to follow a certain account (your account) and tag their friends in the comments section. This strategy increases your follower count and generates more leads for your business.
The Best Toy Business Loans for You
Hiring employees, creating loyalty programs, and implementing experiential marketing can be quite costly. But with a toy business loan, you don’t have to worry about the costs of marketing your products. There are different types of toy business loans or funding like invoice financing and business terms loans depending on your needs and preferences. If you haven’t applied for a loan before and you don’t know where to start, you can consult a lending expert to help you figure out the ins and outs of toy business loans.