The income of Chinese urbanites is increasing at a steady rate. This progress has improved the quality of life, and eventually, demand for little members of the family has given a boost to China toys market. China is the biggest toys market in the world, valued at $56.28 billion in 2022. A prominent shift has been noticed from traditional, medium- to low-end battery-operated toys, stuffed toys, construction sets, and decorative toys towards innovative electronic toys, intelligent toys as well as upmarket plush toys and decorative cloth toys.
Toys were one of the most popular categories of products bought during this year’s 11/11 shopping festival. In this blog post, we will see the opportunities for foreign toy manufacturers and toy companies on the market.
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China Toy Market overview
Presently, there are around 253.38 million children under the age of 14 years in Mainland China. China’s toys market is expected to reach $78.21 billion in 2027, with an annual growth of 6.80% between 2022 and 2027. Since China implemented a two-child policy, and then a three-child policy, we can expect the toy business to grow even further. Below you can take a look at China’s toy industry;
Chinese Millennials now start having kids and they want to spoil them, offering them the best childhood possible. In fact, 93% of Chinese parents point out that they “hope their children can have a pleasant and happy childhood” and that “they will continue to buy toys to satisfy their children’s demand for toys”.
In China children between the age of 6-12 (usually they are the only child because of the one-child policy) usually get rewarded by their parents for the good efforts they make. Younger children from age 3 already know what toy they want and would ask their parents for it. Nowadays, the majority of children get to know about new toy brands and trends from their friends (younger ones) and the Internet (older ones).
Which types of toys are most popular among Chinese children?
Competition in China toy market is intense, in terms of cost and innovation. Generally, there is high demand for foreign companies due to global popularity and perception of good quality. The higher to middle-class market is dominated by foreign brands while domestic brands control the lower end of the market.
Interactive and intelligent electronic toys have strong growth potential. This category counts for both conventional toys, like action figures, as well as experimental products, such as virtual reality and intelligent toys. Parents in Mainland China expect that those will be also educational toys. Most of them are buying toys with the intention of entertaining but also educating their children from an early age.
Plush and stuffed toys of various Disney and famous cartoon characters are popular among children and adults of all ages.
And the last, very popular category is trending toys and IP-licensed products, which, in fact, are most popular among adults, not kids. So-called chaowan, “fashionable toys”, are the toys (usually plastic toys) that come like a heat wave, arousing a lot of attention. Adults buy pop toys, which are usually designed for collecting purposes, to comply with some popular games, movies, anime etc. According to Statista, China’s pop toy market is led by assembled toys like LEGO.
How to sell toys on Chinese e-commerce platforms?
Due to the strong presence of online media and seamless online shopping options with easy-paying methods, Chinese citizens opt to shop online. Although most of the toy purchases still happen offline, as kids and parents usually want to test new toys (especially if those toys are interactive), more and more parents are buying toys online.
Last year, of parents who bought toys online, 79% chose the Taobao platform to shop for toys online. Whereas, other E-commerce platforms, include TMALL (56%) and jd.com (39%).
How foreign toy companies can start selling on Chinese online marketplaces?
China E-commerce platforms can be reached by almost everybody in China. They are also considered the most convenient method of shopping. As the quality and features of products can be discussed among shoppers, prices can be compared on various platforms, and each city in China has access to products and cheap delivery facilities.
Although opportunities are astounding there are constraints due to cultural barriers, language differences, and strict e-commerce platforms policies. There are two vital approaches to entering China’s E-commerce and being successful. Branding and presence of international brands on well-known e-commerce platforms.
No toy exports will be possible without building a strong branding and e-reputation in China, as distributors in the toy business and e-commerce platforms won’t let unknown toy companies open their flagship stores online.
Branding is key to entering the Chinese market
In the toys market, parents are generally concerned about the safety (66%) and style/exterior design (55%) of the product. Plush toys are popular among girls of different age groups. While boys like remote-control/electric toys and figurines of popular cartoon characters.
Several international brands experience a negative impact on their brand image if their marketing campaign goes wrong. Therefore, When approaching China’s e-commerce, it is advisable to partner with a local digital agency as it is equipped with the right set of skills to find a “sweet spot” between the International brand value and the preferences of Chinese consumers.
As we mentioned, branding will help you access e-commerce platforms. It’s important to have a Chinese website and participate in forums, especially those dedicated to parenting. One of the most important things is to have accounts on main Chinese social media platforms, like WeChat, Weibo, RED, and Douyin, where toy manufacturers can reach their audience, collaborate with parenting influencers, and many more.
If you want to compete with other toy brands in China, you need to be present online, so that your potential consumers will easily find you.
Presence on Chinese E-commerce online platforms
Selling in China toy market via Tmall
Tmall holds the biggest market share in the e-commerce market of China at 57%. It mainly focuses on premium brands. This characteristic makes Tmall the most expensive e-commerce marketplace in China. It provides an opportunity for international brands to open exclusive online stores and directly sell products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.
Tmall has an invitation-only policy where only qualified international brands can either be invited to join or can apply through a local digital marketing agency. For more information on how to sell International products through TMALL, please contact a digital marketing agency.
Selling in China toy market via JD.com
JD is China’s largest online direct sales company. It relatively has less market share than TMALL.com. International companies can open individual online stores on JD.com. JD’s cross-border service enables suppliers to sell directly to Chinese consumers without a local presence.
JD.com is less expensive than TMALL.com. JD.com has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit products.
Selling in China toy market via Haitao Web Interface?
There are several cross-border websites that cater to international brands. Chinese consumers prefer buying imported products from Haitao websites. To learn about which Haitao is suitable for your brand please contact a local marketing agency catering to International brands.
Selling in China toy market via Taobao
Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group. It offers the largest C2C e-commerce marketplace in China. Taobao allows registered or non-registered businesses to sell directly to consumers.
Establishing a store on Taobao is virtually free but the online marketplace is ruled by small sole sellers who compete fiercely on price and honesty and authenticity is an unwritten rule of their trade ethics. Sellers with low-budget and low-quality products opt for this platform.
Selling in China toy market via WeChat Store
WeChat is engrained in the lifestyles of Chinese consumers. It is an all-in-one app that integrates social e-commerce seamlessly. Wechat store gives numerous possibilities to International brands to reach Chinese consumers effectively. Possibilities range from Branding to campaigning and easy payment methods.
WeChat Service Account is considered the most suitable for business and organization that aspires to access an advanced WeChat Official Account. Service accounts allow more APIs (Minisite) and companies can open their own stores.
The online store can be used to manage products, take orders, display products, and manage customer complaints. For more information on how to manage Wechat stores, international companies are advised to partner with an expert Digital Marketing Agency, willing to apply for an Official WeChat Account on behalf of the international company.
Are you ready to enter China’s e-commerce market? Contact us!
Are you interested in selling children’s toys in China’s e-commerce market, and learning how you can target Chinese consumers digitally? You are welcome to call us for a friendly discussion and learn about your brand’s prospects in the Chinese E-commerce market.
Our Digital Marketing agency provides international brands with tools that are optimal to unlock this enormous market to earn their full potential. If you are interested in exploring Chinese Digital E-Commerce platforms, reach out to us for customised advice.
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