Archive for November, 2009

The Christmas Toy Trap

Every found yourself In a toy store in January scratching your head and wondering why on earth after the small fortunate that Christmas Cost and the lifetimes worth of amassed stockpile of toys your child has accumulated over the festive period are you yet here you are again opening your wallet. Then you remember you made a promise to a child and you need to show them a promise is important…

Sound familiar?

Every year it’s always puzzled me how the big toy that everyone wants is always no-where to be found. Radio station talk shows advise parents where the last items could be, parents queue for hours for the chance to get one of the “last batch in”. Listen out for it this year, it’s the best marketing, that money can’t buy.

So with the speed of production and distribution in the modern economy do the toy companies really get demand predictions that drastically wrong, is it just a coincidence that it happens every single year???

Surprisingly not! Toy companies are smarter than you think, the more rare a commodity the more value is placed on it. The fact that you can’t get a certain toy makes people talk and demand go up. January is a notorious slow time in the toy industry and to combat this the toy companies have a little trick up their sleeve. They:

1. Create the demand – you promise your kid a toy for Christmas
2. Limit the supply – so you can’t get it
3. Do supply a wide range of substitute goods – If your not capable of fulfilling your promise to your kid toy companies know that in the feeling of guilt you are likely to spend even more and buy even more toys to try and compensate for your feeling of letting them down.
4. And here’s the real clincher – “But Mum You Promised” come January your back in the toy store buying that gift anyway.

And this my friends is what strategy is all about, cleverly disguised as love and affection, subconsciously toy companies are maximizing your buying budgets through psychology. So next time you find yourself puzzled of how someone managed to get more of your wallet share than you were will to part with ask yourself… at what point did you loose control and in where children are involved did you really ever have a chance of winning? – No.1 Irish B2C Ecommerce site

October 2009 was a great month for The Costume Shop .ie. Founded just over 2 years ago it’s grown rapidly to a point where we needed to take on an additional 50 temp staff for the Halloween period and add additional warehouse space to bring us to over 10,000 square feet.

What had me really excited however was the data. Within it’s first year had the number one position in the market place for fancy dress costumes, however even in our wildest dreams we didn’t think we’d be one of the biggest Irish owned B2C e-commerce businesses in the country. In fact we were, according to Alexa, #284 in rankings for sites in Ireland.

Fancy Dress Costumes

To quantify that lets compare the data on that specific lets compare to another online company on the same day, supermarket giant –

alexa data

alexa data

Just to be up in the top 500 would have been a huge compliment, but to be up in the top 300, playing with the big boys and beating them was an amazing feeling. I appreciate its a snap shot in time and in our quieter months or ranking will drop down. However i’m totally energized to think in such a small space of time, without huge funding and being 100% an Irish business we had the ability to use our skills to completely dominate a market.

With a brand new online store launching at the end of November there’s a new spring in my step and i’m ready to have fun learning from and taking on a whole new industry.