19 Aug 2014
China’s Toy Shoppers: Gift Shopping in China
According to HKTDC’s report “China’s Toy Shoppers: A Purchasing Behaviour Survey”, only 604 of the surveyed parents (38%) point out that they have bought toys as gift in the past year. However, the difference in proportions among cities is great. For instance, only 22% of the parents in Shanghai have purchased toys as gift, but 61% in Chengdu. Respondents with an average monthly household income of Rmb7,000-8,999 seldom buy toys as gift. Some parents taking part in the focus group discussions indicate that:
“There are many choices in buying gift for other children, it doesn’t have to be toys, but something like clothes.”
“Today’s children have their own ideas, they do not necessarily like the toys you buy them.”
“I would only purchase toys for the children of my close relatives and friends. Before buying, I would ask my relatives or friends what toys their children like. There is a lot of preparation work.”
According to parents who have purchased toys as gift in the past year, the gifts are mainly electric toys (36%), plush toys (29%) and model toys (25%). It is worth noting that this survey did not track the gender and age of the children receiving the gift. Hence, the following table only lists the types of toys which are most often bought as gift.
Budget for buying toys as gift
Before buying toys as gift, the surveyed parents would set a certain price range. This survey finds that the average minimum budget of the overall parents for purchasing toys as gift has gone up from Rmb74 in 2010 to Rmb175 in 2014, while the average maximum budget has risen slightly from Rmb472 in 2010 to Rmb481 in 2014.
Parents in different cities have different budgets for buying toys as gift, with parents in Shanghai having the highest budget and those in Guangzhou the lowest. It is interesting to note that only 22% of the respondents in Shanghai have purchased toys as gift in the past year, and yet their budget is the highest. This is probably due to the fact that Shanghai consumers care about face and they tend to buy toys of well-known brands as gift, hence their budget is relatively higher. Meanwhile, Guangzhou consumers are probably more practical and their budget is therefore relatively lower. Parents with different monthly household incomes also have different budgets for buying toys as gift. The higher the monthly household income, the higher is the maximum budget.
Detailed analysis of data shows that the average minimum budget of surveyed parents for buying toys as gift has risen from Rmb121 in 2010 to Rmb181 in 2014, while the average maximum budget has gone up from Rmb140 in 2010 to Rmb200 in 2014.
Channels for buying toys as gift
Among surveyed parents who have purchased toys as gift in the past year, 53% remark that they have shopped at large specialised toy stores/toy marts, followed by department stores (39%). Among different cities, parents in Shanghai tend to buy toys as gift at large specialised toy stores/toy marts. Overall, there is no marked difference between the channels for buying toys as gift and channels for buying toys for self-use. Compared with the overall parents, parents with a monthly household income of Rmb15,000 and above tend to buy toys as gift more at large specialised toy stores/toy marts (68%) and online shops (32%), while parents with a monthly household income of Rmb7,000-8,999 tend to buy toys as gift more at supermarkets/hypermarkets.
 The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) conducted a consumer survey from January to March 2014. The survey covered eight mainland cities where a questionnaire survey of 1,600 parents with children aged 14 and below was carried out. The eight cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shenyang, Nanjing and Xian. Apart from the questionnaire survey, six consumer focus group discussions and 30 home visits were conducted in the three cities of Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu.