Toy Consumer Trends

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Online Toy Purchases Packaging Perceptions

Below is an overview of how customers perceive FFP (frustration-free packaging) in how it relates to products shipped from Amazon. Additionally, trends in consumer and company beliefs as it relates to recyclable and sustainable packaging are included. Through extensive research, there is no concrete customer preference on cardboard vs. polybag packaging, as public knowledge and understanding of the effects of each material on the environment is still unknown and up for debate. These details are explained in full later in the write-up, as reported by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

FRUSTRATION-FREE PACKAGING (FFP)

FFP (Amazon) is designed to protect the contents within, without adding in unnecessary layers of plastic bags or fillers within the product. FFP is made from 100% recyclable materials, and aims to use less waste in packaging. Consumers are able to easily recognize an Amazon box, and report appreciating simple cardboard box packaging.

In November 2017, Amazon celebrated their 10th anniversary of utilizing FFP, and reported theyve eliminated 181K tons of packaging material, and saved over 307 million shipping boxes. Yet, Amazon is still facing challenges in optimizing and implementing their FFP in the best way possible, as there is still room to cut down on unnecessary waste. One consumer reported frustration when an Amazon package they receive, with one wall calendar within the box, was wrapped in 45 feet of paper. Further, consumers have voiced their annoyances with difficulties hiding the contents of FFP for gifts or surprises. Amazon suggests marking the "gift" check mark box during the payment process, and/or requesting the box be shipped in an Amazon branded box (as some products may ship in their original packaging).

CONSUMER AND INDUSTRY TRENDS

INDUSTRY TRENDS
Individuals with extensive (10 years +) in development, corporate management, design, engineering, production, logistics, and sales and marketing were included in a survey done as part of the 2018 State of Packaging Industry Report. 84% said that packaging has begun to affect brand building within the last two years, up from 69% of respondents in 2017. 36% said that they plan to allocate more resources towards sustainability and recyclability in 2018, while 51% are allocating more resources towards materials, and 58% towards creative and design-related services. 57% of respondents said that the latest trend they are seeing in packaging is a move towards sustainable and/or recyclable packaging
Yet, there are numerous challenges companies are facing regarding their current and future packaging capabilities. 47% reported their biggest challenge was not only a rise in material costs for raw packaging, but struggles developing innovative package designs to connect emotionally with the end-customer. 33% reported finding skilled workers as a big challenge, while 27% said trying to reduce waste in packaging was their largest obstacle.

CONSUMER PREFERENCES
In a global consumer survey from 2016, 65% of consumers reported always or mostly recycling their packaging products, while 53% said they always or mostly avoid excessively packaged grocery products. Moving into an updated look at global consumer behaviors in 2017, the most crucial factor to consumers in packaging capabilities is the need to be recyclable. There is a shift towards a want in environmentally friendly packaging that can not only be recycled, but also helps to reduce unnecessary packaging materials.

In 2017, Disney adopted the How2Recycle label, which is placed on all packaging to educate the consumer (mainly, the child opening the product) on the importance of recycling, and how to recycle that packaging. Disney said that they are connecting with consumers so they can align on a common goal of recycling, and are demonstrating a commitment to empowering the next generation of recyclers.

As of 2017, one in five online consumers reported purchasing a product due to an online review that specifically mentioned the products packaging. Consumers have an increasing desire for packaging that enhances the product within, or is considered sustainable or recyclable. The recent trend of unboxing (watching someone open a package from beginning to end) has begun to grow in recent months, with YouTube channels featuring kids opening toys providing their review. Unboxing isnt exclusive to children numerous adults will post their review of a product online. In 2016, unboxing videos were the 10th most popular kind of video on YouTube. 2015 saw over 51 million searches for unboxing.

In a global online consumer study from 2016, spanning over 60 countries, 55% reported a willingness to spend more on services and products produced by companies that are committed to a positive environmental impact. Asia-Pacific is most concerned with responsible brands (64%), followed by Latin America (63%), Middle East/Africa (63%), North America (42%), and Europe (40%). Further, these reported desires for sustainable products and packaging is translating to real-life sales, with the average annual sale of products in sustainable packaging increasing 2% since 2014.

Plastic vs. cardboard

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to make consumers more aware of the environmental impact of the products they purchase and their subsequent packaging. Tips from the EPA include avoiding packages with unnecessary fillers (plastic seals, bubble packs), mixed material packaging (e.g. plastic and foil), and trying to choose packages that are done as simply as possible, using materials that can be recycled. The EPA encourages consumers to limit the number of plastic bags they use in a grocery store (e.g. purchase fresh produce with no packaging), and reusing any paper bags or cardboard boxes.
In terms of whether consumers prefer boxes vs. polybags in their online packaging choices, there isnt a clear answer. Whether plastic or cardboard is better for the environment is still up for debate, since while cardboard or paper packaging may decompose faster than plastic, they generate 50X more water pollutants and 70% more air pollutants during product than plastic packaging. An official recommendation from the EPA states that whatever packaging you choose, make sure to reuse it in any way you can, e.g. cardboard boxes utilized as a holder for recycled cans and bottles.

SUMMARY

FFP packaging is proving to be successful in the online packaging industry, with customers appreciating the use of simple cardboard packages with minimal filler products. 58% of companies are reporting seeing a move towards sustainable and recyclable packaging as the largest trend in 2018, and 65% of consumers report "always or mostly" recycling their packaging products. Plastic vs. cardboard packaging does not influence consumer purchase behaviors or preferences, as the EPA reports both products have positive and negative effects on the environment.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Packaging Toy Trends

Overview

Toys have always been part of the daily lives of children the world over. This makes them a very important market. Upon our research, we found that this market changes according to the cultural changes occurring in the era. These changes further extend to trends in toy packaging. For instance, as more people are pushing for gender equality, toys are also included in the conversation encouraging more companies to move towards gender inclusiveness both in the toys they offer and the packaging in which these toys are delivered. Below, we include more details about this particular trend and list more trends we have discovered in our research regarding toy packaging.

Gender Inclusivity

Traditionally, toy aisles have always been divided into pink and blue aisles — one for girls and another for boys, respectively. However, this has been seen to be changing as it has been observed that Millennial parents in particular do not want to expose their children to habits that are deemed too gendered. As such, toy makers including Mattel, Hasbro and Lego have embraced the trend releasing toys that could cater to both genders. This has led to the use of packaging that is gender-neutral with blues and reds designed to engage both boys and girls.

Environmental Consciousness

As more people are becoming aware of the environment and the challenges it is currently facing, parents, to a greater extent, search for products with eco-friendliness in both its design and packaging. This also exhibits the effort of parents to acquaint their children with eco-consciousness early on.
Toy makers have also taken this trend into account with Lego stating that it is making a shift towards sustainability and Hasbro promising to decrease the amount of material put in their packaging and to eliminate polyvinyl chloride.
Disney has also recognized some of the problems created by toy packaging and has launched the Smart Packaging Initiative (SPI) as an answer. Packaging used for products within the SPI program are fashioned to reduce its environmental impact by designing for recyclability, sourcing responsibly and optimizing resources.

Open VS Blind Packaging

These trends, while seemingly opposite, have come to the toy industry and are present at the same time. Parents prefer open packaging when they are out shopping for toys as this allows them to see the product and check it for quality and similar concerns. Additionally, open packaging allows kids to interact with the toy even before buying the product.
Nevertheless, blind packaging is also seen to be popular, especially as packaging for collectibles. Essentially, the buyer does not know what particular toy is inside the box paving the way for purchase excitement on the part of the buyer and repeat purchasing benefiting the retailer.

Scents and Artwork in Packaging

Understandably, a huge part of the purpose of toy packaging is in its ability to attract more customers towards the product. As such, toy makers are developing new ways with which they can appeal to customers through packaging. One of these ways is through the use of smells which allows the product to engage in another of the buyer's senses.
Still, visuals are the first attraction that toys can have with the shopper. This makes for the continued trend of including striking artwork and illustrations in toy boxes as children have been observed to be drawn to colorful toy boxes.

Conclusion

Toy products are affected by the present atmosphere. Cultural developments today affect what toys are preferred by people and are produced by companies. As an extension of this effect, toy packaging changes accordingly as toys and their boxes follow the trends together.

Part
03
of six
Part
03

Toy Industry Experts

We have identified six toy industry experts, with expertise across packaging design, toy production, and toy consumerism. These experts are: Dennis Kupperman, Jonathan Armes, Michael Moynihan, Patti Becker, Stevanne "Dr. Toy" Auerbach, PhD, and Richard Gottlieb. We have compiled our findings into a spreadsheet for your convenience, which you can access here.

Below, you will find an explanation of how we selected these experts, as well as a brief outline of the individuals we have selected.

methodology

In order to locate experts for your list, we analyzed key individuals in the toy industry who have vast experience in either toy packaging design, toy production, or toy consumerism. In order for these individuals to be considered experts, we looked primarily at the length of their experience in this industry (i.e. individuals who have multiple decades of experience in this space). This experience could come either in the form of real-world practice, research, or both. We assessed the overall expertise of each of these persons at the individual level, the results of which can be found in the spreadsheet within their summary/bio sections.

overview of findings

1. Patti Becker - CEO and founder of Becker Associates, a marketing consulting firm that specializes in toys.

2. Jonathan Armes - Owner of JRA Design, a packaging design firm that specializes in toys.

3. Richard Gottlieb - Owner of Global Toy Experts, a toy industry consultancy.

4. Steveanne "Dr. Toy" Auerbach, PhD - A leading expert on toys and children's products with an education in child psychology.

5. Michael Moynihan - The VP of marketing at LEGO for over 20 years.

6. Dennis Kupperman - The president of RB Toy Design, a toy design, manufacturing, and packaging firm.

You can find the details and contact information for each of these individuals in the attached spreadsheet.

CONCLUSION

In closing, we have identified six toy industry experts with experience across toy packaging design, toy production, and toy consumerism. We have compiled our findings into a spreadsheet which you can access here.


Part
04
of six
Part
04

Toy Purchasing Trends

The global toy industry revenue for 2016 was expected to reach $90 billion, with a CAGR of 5% from 2017 to 2021. Based on several reports, current purchasing trends that are impacting the toy industry include the following: preference for technologically innovative toys over old-fashioned ones, children playing with toys for a long time, selecting affordable toys, opting for sensory toys, and choosing fantasy-inspired toys.

Emerging trends on top of the current ones above are the following: additional focus on screen-free learning toys, role-playing toys, gross toys, and other toys that mimic the adult world.

GLOBAL TOY INDUSTRY STATISTICS

Based on the latest available estimate, the global toy industry revenue for 2016 was expected to reach $90 billion. There were no exact figures available yet for 2017 but based on a global information company report, the average growth of the toy industry across the 12 leading markets globally was around 1%. From 2017 to 2021, the growth rate is predicted to be at 5% for both toys and games.
The US led the toy market sales with $20.7 billion in sales for the year 2017. In terms of being the fastest to grow which was also fueled by inflation, Mexico and Russia took this honor with their sales increasing by 12% and 11% respectively for 2017. However, toy sales declines were experienced in the UK, France and Australia, while sales remain the same for Italy and Germany.

GENERAL TRENDS ON TOY USAGE

Toys usually have an average life span of around eight months from launch until the time of markdown. However, research shows that kids usually don’t want to part with their toys easily and may keep them for a long time in their possession. Unless encouraged by parents to discard or donate their toys, most kids will hoard these toys even if they are not planning on playing with them anymore.
In terms of toy purchase decisions, the following data apply: 85% of parents will buy toys based on their kids’ preferences, 72% of the toy purchases will happen because of enticing discounts and prices, 48% will base their buying decisions on toy reviews, and 41% will rely on family or friends’ advice. In another report, 44% of the consumers declared that they prefer to purchase new toys over used toys.

COUNTRY AND ECONOMIC TRENDS

The types of toys that parents buy also depend on their economic standing. Children’s toy preferences vary from country to country as well.
In Haiti, where the cost of living is around $39 per month for each adult, boys’ favorite toys are old tennis balls. Around 15% of the global population have the same economic conditions as the Haitians, with some even surviving below that level.
Moving on to Romania, where the allowance is $163 per month per adult, girls usually play with broken dolls. Forty percent of the world shares Romania’s economic condition.
No other reports were available in recent years so a global toy spending report from 2015 was used to get these data for selected countries. As such, the average toy spending amount per child is as follows: (1) Australia: $500; (2) US - $499; (3) UK - $482; (4) Japan - $379; (5) Germany - $363; (6) France - $352; (7) Canada - $347; (8) China - $52; (9) Brazil - $50; and (10) India - $9.

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

1. Virtual Reality Toys — With VR toys like the Skyrocket Jurassic World VRSE, children can be immersed in an interactive dinosaur virtual world through VR headsets, motion controllers, and app.
2. Augmented Reality Set — Actual Play-Doh creations can get transferred to an animated virtual world when these are placed inside the Touch Shape to Life Studio and scanned using phones. With the help of the Play-Doh Touch app, the clay creations can be animated and enhanced with digital effects.
3. 3D Printing — As 3D printers become more affordable, more toys will be produced from this type of toy-making method.
4. In general, technology-powered toys are enjoying brisk sales compared to the low-tech toys as kids prefer more features for better entertainment value. Also, high-tech toys are seen to provide more benefits such as playing flexibility, easier handling, reliability, and availability of more educational options.

Other 2018 Toy Trends

In general, for 2018, the top emerging toy trends are the following:
1. Gross toys (toys mimicking bodily functions) — One example of this is a collectible toy line with features that look like toilet paper.
2. Fantasy play using augmented reality and virtual reality toys — interactive holograms like Mattel’s Hello Barbie personal assistant will emerge.
3. Smoochy, slimy and stretchy toys — these types of toys are best-sellers last 2017. Sales are expected to further rise in 2018 as more make-your-own and pre-made options become available. Some examples are: Horizon Group’s SlimyGloop and WeCool’s Squishy Like Slime.
4. Unicorns and mystical creatures — Inspired by cult fantasy movies, there will be more demand as more films featuring these characters are shown.
5. Beauty and spa products — inspired by adults’ beauty products for kids to enjoy.

NEW YORK TOY FAIR 2018

In order to have a glimpse of the actual toy fads, the following toy trends from the 2018 New York Toy Fair are taken into account:
1. Screen-free Coding and Learning Toys — Screen-free and STEM learning toys are all the rage right now. Younger kids are also joining in on this trend as they become more interested in robotics and coding basics. With these types of toys, children can do experiments involving STEM concepts. These types of toys also revive old-fashioned interest in screen-less toys of the past.
2. Maker Toys — these toys encourage kids to be more creative in creating something from various materials.
3. Preschooler Toys Teaching Empathy and Kindness — these toys were intended to have kids develop good manners.
4. Mini Collectibles — these are for kids who enjoy collecting small stuff.
5. Multi-sensory Early Childhood Toys — toys like this enable kids to experience using their senses more.
6. Race Car Sets with a Twist — this is for the kids who want more innovation to be incorporated in their favorite toy piece.
7. Creativity through cosmetics — encourages pretend play in kids.

CONCLUSION


Current and emerging global toy purchasing trends are as follows: choosing technologically innovative toys over old-fashioned ones, children keeping toys for a prolonged length of time, selecting affordable toys, inclination for sensory toys, choosing mythical-inspired toys, screen-free learning toys, role-playing toys, gross toys, and other toys that imitate the adult world.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

Technology Applied to Toy Purchasing

When it comes to purchasing toys, technology definitely plays a role. Parents, as toy consumers, are predominantly using the internet to research toys to purchase, while making actual purchases online vs. in-store remains fairly equal. During the research phase, parents are going online to look at ratings and reviews more frequently than they are relying on commercials and advertisements; however commercials and advertisements still have a greater impact than social media, blogs and corporate websites when it comes to toy purchasing decisions. Among parents who shop for toys online, the computer is the chosen preference, which outranks smartphones and tablets. The same holds true across both the research and purchasing phases.

The biggest influencer of parents' toy purchasing behaviors are the children themselves, with around 85% of parents saying this is a true for them. Children are definitely being influenced by technology when it comes to learning about toys: TV is the way the majority of children say they learn about toys, and is also the most dominant form of technology utilized by children. Despite this, mobile device usage among children has significantly increased between 2011 and the present, with around 19% of children stating that they learn about toys from the internet.

In order to locate insights to answer your question, we analyzed a handful of recently published consumer surveys which ask parents and children about their toy purchasing behaviors and technology usage. Below, you will find a deep dive of our findings.

toys and technology: purchasing behaviors by parents

Many parents today are allowing their children freedom with regard to selecting which toys are purchased. However, children are not the only sources of influence parents are focusing on when making these decisions. Almost half (48%) of parents says they also rely on ratings and reviews posted online. With regard to advertisements and commercials, 29% of parents say these channels have a significant influence over their toy buying, while 15% said the same for social media, 7% for non-corporate website, such as bogs, and 4% for corporate websites.

Interactive displays are also a major influence for parents with regard to making purchase decisions. Six out of 10 parents "say interactive toy displays/packaging, that allow children ... to play with the toy in-store prior to buying it, are either extremely or very influential to their toy-purchase decisions. An additional 31% said they're moderately important." Among children surveyed, 44% also strongly agreed with this statement, while 34% said they moderately agreed.

Although these interactive displays are not necessary considered a technology per se, based on these survey results, it's clear that the concept of being able to interact with toy prior to purchase plays a major role in the research/decision-making process, and we therefore assume this concept will impact how technology is used to 'experience' toys during the purchase process in the coming future (AR/VR may be one example of this), therefore we feel this could be an important insight to keep in mind as technology trends develop.

In regard to the technology and channels used to make toy purchases, 19% of parents said they prefer Amazon. As a preference among parents, Amazon comes third-in-line to traditionally non-digital channels such as Walmart and Target, but comes before Toys 'R' Us. The preference for Amazon is much lower among children (9%), whose top choice is Toys 'R' Us (43%). For parents surveyed, 47% said they buy toys online sometimes, while 34% said they do so often, 17% said they do so rarely, and 2% said they never buy toys online. Additionally, 67% are utilizing in-store pickup services. For toy purchasing via mobile apps, 65% are using smartphone apps that are specific to an individual retailer, and 24% are using apps that are not specific to an individual retailer, and 14% aren't using any apps to purchase toys.

When it comes to purchasing toys online versus in store, a global survey revealed that 39% prefer purchasing online, while 37% prefer purchasing in-store -- fairly equal numbers. However, "20% of global shoppers have made most or all toy purchases online in the last 12 months." For those who are making online purchases, 24% are doing so using a computer, 8% are doing so using a smartphone, and 6% are using a tablet.

During the research phase specifically, 45% of toy shoppers globally said they do their researching online. By contrast, 26% revealed a preference for researching in the store. Within the group who conducts their toy research via the web, 28% are doing so on a computer, 10% are doing so on a smartphone, and 6% are using a tablet.

Technology use and influence among children

For parents, children are the biggest influencers when it comes to shopping for toys, as 85% of parents have said that their child's wants and wishes influence them the most. Based on this insight, we assume it is important to consider how technology is influencing children, how they are using this technology, and what role technology has on children's desires to want a toy. Below, we will outline relevant findings which pertain to these topics.

With regard to technology use, it appears that the vast majority of children, even very young ones, are being exposed to technology and using it. Among children under age six, 85% are using technology. They are using this technology as often as two hours each day, and are most commonly using TVs, computers, smartphones, and tablets. Around 15% of parents said their children under 6 are not using technology. Despite the majority of parents who let their young children use technology, 72% say they have significant concerns regarding the negative effects of the technology, including "less active play, particularly outdoors."

In a survey of children ages 0-8, the technology being used the most as of 2017 is as follows:

TV (42%)
DVD (12%)
Computer (7%)
Video game console (4%)
Mobile devices (35%)

This is a significant change in trends compared to 2011, in which the following results were relevant:

TV (51%)
DVD (23%)
Computer (13%)
Video game console (10%)
Mobile device (4%)

Based on these data sets, it would appear that mobile use among children is significantly up, while the use of all other technologies have declined since 2011. In alignment with this, the amount of time spent by children using mobile devices as increased to 48 minutes per day in 2017, way up from five minutes per day in 2011. However, the total amount of screen time has remained relatively consistent across the years (around 2-2.5 hours per day). Although for children under two-years-old, screen time is actually declining.

YouTube and subscription video services are also popular channels among children. For example, a recent survey showed that 19% of children's video watching is taking place on Netflix (and Netflix has deals in place with Disney and Dreamworks to feature their content in alignment with this).

When asked how they learn about toys, 50% of child respondents ages 0-8 said TV, 21% said friends, 19% said the internet, 8% said the store, and 11% said other. Interestingly, these findings are in alignment with the results which show which technology devices children are currently utilizing the most (TV and mobile devices).

conclusion

In closing, we have analyzed how consumers are using technology for toy purchasing, along with exploring concepts such as which channels and devices they are using during the research and purchasing phase, the types of technology children are using and which of these are influencing their desires for specific toys.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Technology Used in Retail Shopping

The use of mobile phones and other technology in the shopping process by consumers and parents alike has grown tremendously in recent years. Due to the growth in technology, children are also being exposed to the internet at younger ages, and their consumption of online content grows. More parents, especially Millennials, are heavily utilizing technology to online shop or enhance their in-store shopping experiences. QR codes are beginning to become a more viable method for claiming deals while shopping, as well as a way to strengthen relationships between consumers and businesses. Augmented reality is following in the same footsteps, as more parents and shoppers in general feel that they would be more likely to shop online at stores that utilize virtual reality in some way. Below you will find a breakdown of how general consumers, parents, and children alike apply technology to their shopping experiences, and how other forms of technology such as QR codes and AR are beginning to alter shopping habits.

General Consumer Use of Technology for Retail Shopping

In 2017, around 58% of shoppers used smartphones while in stores to look up information about a product, and 54% used smartphones to compare product prices. An additional 40% used smartphones to download coupons for those stores, and 33% were using a specific retailer's mobile app while in-store, as well. Due to the large increase in technology while shopping, "Digital interactions now influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores."

For comparison, in 2017 a global study regarding shopping habits measured how and where consumers are purchasing items such as books, music, movies, video games, and clothing. 68% of respondents reported that they research products online, compared with 16% in-store. Of the shoppers that research products online, 44% utilized PCs, 14% used smartphones, and 9% used tablets. When it came to physically purchasing the products researched, 60% of these shoppers would make the purchase online, and 28% bought items in-store. Clothing and footwear items were the most popular goods to be purchased online, with 77% of respondents reporting to have done so within the past year.

General Parental Use of Technology for Retail Shopping

According to the 2015 State of Modern Motherhood report, the average mother spends $13,127/year on their child. 63% of U.S. Millennial moms change the way that they shop for groceries once having a child, 52% change the cleaning products/detergents that they use, and 48% change the personal care products that they purchase. In terms of utilizing technology for shopping, 85% of Millennial parents say that they use mobile devices while shopping to check reviews and deals for products. 66% of mothers and 49% of fathers report that their number one priority when utilizing mobile devices for shopping is to find a deal. 40% of these same moms and 22% of these dads further claim that they will only shop with mobile coupons/deals. Whenever deals are present, 76% of mothers and 64% of fathers say that they will definitely make a purchase in-store with the mobile deal.

On a global scale, the 2015 State of Modern Motherhood report also mentioned the percentage of online shopping that mothers do, compared with total shopping that they complete. The reports from mothers in a few main countries were as follows:

Canada:

Brazil:

United States:

China:

United Kingdom:

Additionally, 81% of U.S. moms claimed to use smartphones while shopping in-stores, compared with 55% of Brazilian moms, 73% of Canadian moms, 79% of Chinese moms, and 63% of U.K. moms.

Child use of Smartphones and Screened Technology

As the market for technology continues to grow, the amount of exposure to smartphones, tablets, and TV by children is also increasing. In 1970, for example, the average age at which children began watching television was 4 years old. Today, however, many children are experiencing TV and other screened technology as early as 4 months old. In 2015, the majority of 1-year olds had already used or experienced a mobile device, and the average 2-year old was using smartphones on a daily basis. As a result, by 2017, at least 42% of children 8 years old or younger had their own tablets, compared with 7% in 2013 and 1% in 2011; these children spent an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day using these devices or other screened technology.

The average age in 2017 that children received smartphones at was 10.3 years old. However, only 22% of these children get a mobile service plan with the device. Of children between ages 6 -12 that have access to the internet through mobile devices, 53% report that utilizing the internet and browsing websites was the most popular action completed on their smartphones.

QR Codes in Retail Shopping

The use of QR codes in shopping is starting to become a more widely-used method of building relationships between consumers and retailers. In the past four years, Millennials especially have taken advantage of QR codes to share and receive information or deals. In 2017, 22% of shoppers reported scanning QR codes with their smartphones, amounting to a total of 1.3 billion QR codes scanned that year. It is expected that by 2022, around 5.3 billion QR codes will be scanned that year across 1 billion smartphones, many of which will come from Apple's new built-in QR scanner in the camera app.

Augmented Reality in Retail Shopping by General Consumers and Parents

Due to the increase in parents and consumers that are utilizing online shopping or mobile devices to make purchases, the use of augmented reality technology is growing to provide users with a more realistic shopping experience. In 2016, 54% of shoppers reported that they prefer to make purchases in-store because they cannot fully visualize the product online. However, 63% also reported that the use of augmented reality would enhance their online shopping experience, and 35% would be more likely to shop online at places that offered virtual reality to try products out or experience them more visually. An additional 22% of consumers reported that they would be less likely to visit a brick-and-mortar store if AR was offered online, and 61% already prefer to purchase content online through stores that do offer AR content.

In a study that included 200 parents from the United Kingdom, participants were asked to determine whether a traditional ad or an AR experience for a children's toy was more persuasive. The total time that participants spent with the traditional ad amounted to 12 seconds, compared with 83 seconds for the augmented reality ad (691% increase). Afterwards, participants were asked whether they would consider purchasing the toy. 45% of parents that viewed the traditional ad mentioned that they would buy the toy, while 74% of parents that interacted with the AR ad said they would as well (164% increase).

Conclusion

The market for technology in the process of retail shopping grows larger and wider every year, as the available technology to enhance shopping experiences increases. Children are being exposed to technology at younger ages every year, also consuming larger amounts of information through these devices. The market for technology in the shopping process is primarily young adults and parents, with the majority of parents utilizing technology to some extent during their shopping processes. QR codes and retailer apps are often used while in-store shopping to gain deals and information about products, whereas augmented and virtual reality technology is becoming more popular to provide shoppers with a more realistic experience and product understanding when shopping online. As this technology becomes more widely available, shoppers everywhere are becoming more cognizant and open to utilizing devices to better their experiences and understandings and about products.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01