Our latest update to our Digital Go-To-Market Review series for brands looks at the Kid, Baby, and Toy sector. Nailing your direct-to-consumer (DTC) website is more crucial than ever as toy and children’s gear sales move further online. Sixty-eight percent of US online adults reported buying toys and games online (on a computer, smartphone, or tablet) in 2021, up from 47% in 2019. By contrast, US online consumers who purchased these products in person decreased from 37% in 2019 to 29% in 2021. To win in this evolving digital landscape, kid, baby, and toy brands must innovate, sell DTC, and demonstrate strong e-control.

When the brand website does not lead on price, has out-of-stock items, or not enough information on quality or product features, consumers are tempted to buy products on other channels like online marketplaces. But when consumers buy products on online marketplaces versus a brand website, brands can wind up with arm’s-length relationships with those customers. Other considerations include less control around placement, plus potential proximity to gray-market sellers for brand goods.

So what’s a brand manufacturer to do? Take control.

To help them do that, Forrester’s Digital Go-To-Market Review series evaluates a set of brands in a specific category to see how well they are positioned to thrive independently. In this review, we evaluated 27 kid, baby, and toy brands on five elements, covering 21 sub-elements. Specifically, for each brand, we reviewed its:

  • Direct-to-consumer strength.
  • Brand visibility online.
  • Distribution and e-control.
  • Organic consumer enthusiasm.
  • Product innovation.


From this review, we rated six brands as best-in-class: Disney, Ergobaby, LEGO, Manhattan Toy, Munchkin, and Owlet. To learn more about what makes these brands stand apart and best practices for this sector overall, please see the newly published summary report, Digital Go-To-Market Review: Kid, Baby, And Toy. Past reviews we’ve conducted in this series include apparel, beautyconsumer electronicsconsumer packaged goods (CPG), and home goods. And if you’d like to discuss our findings for your business, please schedule an inquiry with me.

(This post was cowritten with Taylor Hansen, research associate.)