The rise of STEM toys in India as observed by Flipkart
by Shrutee K
In more ways than one, the pandemic has catalysed the awareness around STEM toys in India as parents increasingly opt for toys and games that in addition to keeping children occupied, would also facilitate learning at home. In fact, according to a recent FICCI-KPMG report on the Indian toy industry, tech-infused future toys such as Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, and augmented reality especially in STEM toys are going to define the future of the toy industry. A similar insight is what has been on India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, Flipkart.
While STEM as an acronym – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, isn’t new, the concept didn’t become a trend in our country until the last 2-3 years. Today, there is a much greater awareness seen among new-age parents who are advocating for extracurricular STEM programs for their children aged between 3 to 17 years. They are looking at innovative toys and games, and turning to e-commerce marketplaces that are making them more accessible and affordable across the country.
These ‘learning’ toys are instrumental in helping develop cognitive and motor skills in children by actively engaging them in complex activities through a fun approach. STEM toys are a great way to reinforce the importance of learning in an interactive and creative way.
During the course of last year, Flipkart has addressed this need by building its marketplace as a one-stop-destination for a wide range of STEM toys such as building blocks , learning tabs, flashcards, puzzles and scientific toys across a diverse price range. Having witnessed a 150%+ YoY growth rate in this vertical; in the past year alone, over 100+ new brands were onboarded on the platform. Flipkart’s focus remains to make products available to customers across all price points and for all age groups with some of the popular home-grown brands in India today such as Smartivity, Imagimake, Genius Box, Butterfly Edufields, Play Panda, Skillmatics, Mechanix and Play Shifu among others. Sellers on Flipkart have added 1000+ new products on the platform in the past 3 months.
The platform observed that the toys meant for the age group of 8-12 years saw the maximum interest in the past year. Some of the top-selling toys sold by sellers on Flipkart include Hydraulic Plane launchers from Smartivity, India Mapology from Imagimake, 5 in 1 craft kits from Imagimake, 50+ Science experiments from Butterfly edufields and Funskool Sum Genius Strategy.
While the maximum demand for ‘smart’ toys comes in from metros such as Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai, Flipkart has recorded recent surges from Tier 2 cities including Bhopal, Agra, Nagpur, Surat, and Mysore as well.
As the STEM toys continue to gain traction, Flipkart aims at being at the forefront in the country by offering an expansive product range across a diverse price range.
Flipkart is also running a campaign with Viswanathan Anand to increase awareness and drive home the importance of STEM toys in the early development of children. To make this easy for the parents, Flipkart has created a ‘SMART’ store to help them make informed purchases based on their children’s age and as per the skills that they want to focus on.