Mixed Kid’s Dolls & E-tail

An Asian, Black and Native American mixed race doll

An Asian, Black and Native American mixed race doll

E-tail is a really interesting word. It means having a store on the internet. And it represents two completely different knowledge bases; the first having to do with everything from Search Engine Optimization to Pay-Per-Click advertising to Google Algorithms. Phrases like title tags, alt image and html 5.

The second knowledge base has a lot in common with normal brick and mortar stores, things like inventory management, product turns and marketing budget; although there are some new concepts like long tail and shopping cart abandonment to know about also.

What both etail and retail have in common though, is customers. How to find them and let them know you carry the products that they are looking for. Although to be honest with you, with etail it’s more like how to let them find you.

One of the main tools etailers have to do that with is called ‘keywords.’ Those are the words that you type into the search box on your computer, tablet or phone screen.

For The Pattycake Doll Company, most of the time that is pretty easy. If you’re an African American mom looking for a doll for your three year old, you would probably type in something like ‘black baby doll.’

If you just came home from the hospital with a newborn baby boy, you might look for a ‘boy doll’ for his older sister to play with.

But what do Black/White parents search for. Or Asian/Black. Or Hispanic/Asian?

I have two friends who are White women married to Black men and with girl children, so I just went and asked them. Surprisingly they both answered the same thing: “We’d look for dolls for ‘mixed kids.’ Okay!

But when I went to my online research tool for keywords, Google and Yahoo didn’t agree; the search volume for that phrase was almost non-existent. Some look for Biracial, some look for Mixed kids, some look for diversity dolls. But not as many as one might think considering that more than half of America’s children are ‘non-white!

It makes my life interesting.

No Naked Dolls!

Nobody sells a naked doll.

Seems obvious right? But have you ever given doll clothes a lot of thought?

I’m going to post some thoughts on this subject for the next few weeks… I hope you’ll find it interesting.

This week: The 12″ Baby Dolls.

The bane of just about every young mother’s existence is the naked baby doll. Most children’s first dolls are either one piece cloth dolls or 12 inch baby dolls. If the doll is a one piece of course the child can’t take the clothes off.

But with baby dolls the clothes do come off. Hence the naked baby doll. Because children from 12 months to about 2 years have no trouble taking things apart… in this case taking off the clothes.

Putting them back on is the problem!

(On the other hand, smart Mommies are always looking for ways to interact with their children in play time, and putting the clothes back on the doll for their child is a great way to get that… even if it is ten times a day! ☺)

Here’s another thought: Who designs the doll clothes that come on the baby dolls? (I myself don’t know, but I may research that in the future.) Is it a good paying job? Is it done in-house or hired out to a designer on contract? How much does it cost to have a doll’s outfit designed.

One thing I do know, is that many companies sell the same baby doll for years, but change the outfit each year. We used to sell a Black Baby Doll by Lee Middleton that went from being ‘Little Bailey’ to ‘Little Hailey’ to ‘Little Chloe!’ Same doll, different outfits, different year, different name.

Little Princess Brn LittleHaileyAA LittleBailey

One of the banes of my existence, especially as a doll company, is getting our customers (the adults) to realize that they really need to consider buying extra clothes to go along with their baby doll purchase.

You see, their daughters, if they are old enough to be playing – and nurturing – their baby dolls, they are not themselves still babies… they are toddlers. And they are not wearing baby clothes, they are wearing toddler clothes… and pretty soon they are going to ask for some clothes for their baby.

But the best reason ever to get pretty baby dresses for their baby dolls?

To encourage your toddler to want to dress like their doll. In pretty dresses. I’m saying that as a father of course. I loved to see my little girl in dresses. Sigh…

Candy Flowers by  Corolle

Candy Flowers 12 inch doll’s dress by Corolle