April 1, 2010
Nate Gilmore, our VP of Marketing, has attended the Toy Fair in New York held at the Jarvis Center 2 years in a row and now he has twice the information to share with us! While attending the 2009 Toy Fair, Nate made sure to not only play with as many toys as possible, but also to get a feel for how the attending toy retailers were managing their business and what their concerns were when it comes to storage and shipping logistics. Some important concerns to note from 2009 were:
(1) Toy retailers buying smaller amounts, requesting more frequent resupply and not wanting to take on the risk of inventory,
(2) Toy packaging and its impact on fulfillment
(3) Manufacturer drop ship fulfillment options for Toy makers
We all know 2009 was a rough year for many due to the economy, so naturally toy retailers were focusing on keeping inventory levels in line with sales (rather than overstocking), optimum packaging options to save money, and also exploring different shipping options such as drop shipping. Read more about Nate's adventures at the 2009 Toy Fair here.
The concerns from 2009 were still prevalent in 2010, especially interest in Drop Shipping, but according to Nate (who apparently did not have as much time to play with as many toys this year for he talked to 100 toy retailers!) we also see a trend to want to automate processes more, make the shipping process easier for both merchant and consumer, and to grow sales by expanding overseas fulfillment. It's clear that although there are hurdles to be faced, toy retailers want to address them as well as continue to grow their businesses in a more efficient and cost saving manner. The economy has taught all of us to be frugal again, waste less, and save more. Which is great… and will no doubt lead to more play time. To read Nate's article on the 2010 Toy Fair go here. If you are a toy retailer and are interested in trying Shipwire out, sign up for a Free Trial here.