Lucy Marshall, eCommerce sales at World First USA, Inc., reveals 3 major trends shaping the eCommerce landscape this year.

World First turned work into play last week at Toy Fair 2017. The event ran from February 18-21 in New York City, and drew buyers and exhibitors from all over the world. There were more than 150,000 toy and entertainment products on display, which were manufactured both domestically and internationally.  The key take-aways? Play is serious business. The talk on the floor was abuzz with how to distribute your products and the biggest toy trends for 2017, and we saw a big increase in globally-minded brands.

There was no question that Toy Fair was not strictly for US-based vendors.  We spoke with toy companies from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and China. These brands are increasingly looking to expand their presence outside of domestic markets, and many of them are choosing eCommerce platforms to do that. Talking to the companies in attendance at the event, we also saw domestic brands eager to network and grow overseas.

One question that came up repeatedly was related to the variety of choices when it comes to managing your eCommerce distribution. A private label brand we spoke with had to completely overhaul their B2C business, and stop allowing other retailers to resell their brand on marketplaces like Amazon.  They had a hard time enforcing MAP pricing with these e-retailers, and by becoming the only presence selling their brand on marketplaces, they were better able to control the pricing of their products.  By better controlling the pricing issue, this vendor is now hoping to expand their distribution channels internationally. This may be a good strategy for other eCommerce brands looking to go global.

In addition to expanding to new distribution channels, much of the conversation was about the trends to watch moving into the 2017 selling season. With blockbusters like Beauty and the Beast, Power Rangers, and two LEGO movies coming out, look out for toys related to these movies to be strong sellers. We also saw a trend toward integrating more technology into children’s toys, with new smart toys like WooBoo becoming the Alexa for the 10 and under set. Classics like Lego and K’Nex continue to be beloved by consumers, while more hi-tech products like virtual reality toys, drones, and 3D printing that were just coming to market a few years ago are now becoming much more attainable and therefore affordable to more of the market.

Toy Fair was a great kick-off to the 2017 season! We saw brands already planning for the Q4 push well in advance, and companies taking control of their own distribution to maximize selling potential overseas.

Of course, making sales in overseas markets means dealing with foreign currencies and we can help you potentially save thousands of dollars when you bring those revenues back home. Get in touch with us today to see how you can get more control of your overseas revenues and improve your bottom line.