Michael Hawkins on ToyShop UK's Enhanced Supplier service

ToyNews catches up with Michael Hawkins from Toy Shop UK to find about how the directory is increasingly being used by toy suppliers to enhance their online presence.
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We know you mainly as a directory of retailers, so tell us more about how you also work with suppliers.

We began life as a directory of UK-based toy shops, although it didn’t take long to discover that many of our visitors weren’t just looking to find retailers. They also wanted to find out more about the companies behind the toys and to search for information on particular products that they’d seen on TV or in a brochure.

The Independent Toy Awards launched back in 2011 and was quickly followed by our introduction of weekly competitions that attract thousands of entries each.

Our third service aimed at suppliers – and one we’re particularly excited about at the moment - is our Enhanced Supplier feature, which enables suppliers to promote themselves to our audience in a completely customisable way.

What exactly is an Enhanced Supplier?

Every UK-based toy supplier already has a free, basic listing on our website, and their profile can be found easily by visitors browsing or searching our directory.

Now, suppliers can upgrade their listing to include a wealth of additional information such as website links, image galleries, recommended stockists and much more.

What type of audience are these listings aimed at?

About 80 per cent of our visitors are consumers, so we recommend that suppliers gear their listing towards this section of audience by displaying social media links, product photos, award wins and such like.

Trade individuals account for around 20 per cent of our site traffic, so suppliers also have the ability to display content that’s important to this audience, such as key personnel, turnover, trade show attendance etc.

Who are you existing Enhanced Suppliers?

They vary from fledgling companies right up to household names like Vivid, Flair and VTech.

Each supplier can tag themselves to the categories that they specialise in – and those that enter lots of information will find themselves promoted on every single page of our site.

What sort of feedback have you received?

We’ve got a dedicated page at http://www.toyshopuk.co.uk/supplier-comments/ containing feedback from dozens of suppliers.

We’ve been delighted to see that the listings are clearly helping suppliers increase their own website traffic and promote themselves to an audience that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.

How much does a listing cost?

£250 per year. That includes ongoing support and access to an Admin Area where listings can be updated online 24/7.

How can suppliers apply?

They just need to drop us a line at info@toyshopuk.co.uk and we’ll handle the rest.

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