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How do children influence the purchase process of goods and services?


The splendid art of persuasion!


A trick you can learn best from children, be it the Power Space Commando Ninja Mutant Brain Blaster or the Barbie Teresa Gymnastic doll you promised them, they know how to influence others in getting what they want. With this ability to affect people's decisions directly or indirectly, they are now playing a major role in the purchase decision journey of a family. Even if they are not directly viewed as consumers, it is a researched fact that children still play a dominant role when deciding what to purchase for the family. Even researches have suggested that generally in families; the youngest member enjoys a great influence when purchase decisions are being made.


The way children influence their parents in the buying process depends on numerous reasons. Their influence could be exercised in a lot of ways, depending on the nature of the product, parent education, occupation, earning, whether both parents are working or not.

Every family goes through a unique purchase decision journey depending on their income, their environment at home, etc. The major reason for which children tend to pressurize their parents is often related to their interest level, like eatables, gadgets, toys as compared to those goods which are related to overall household.

  • It has been seen, that children's influence in purchasing electronic products, such as computer software, mp3 players, etc., only pays off if they are the sole decision taker of the family.

  • For particular items like mobiles, cameras, and the internet, children's influence is only considered to a certain extent.

  • For products like Automobiles, Insurance policies, Housing finance schemes, etc., which are of high value, children have weak influence. The main reason for this being, parents in general limit children’s participation in the decision for the products which are not relevant to children.


Generally, the fields where children have the most influence, in a family’s purchase decision, are:-

  • Toys and games

  • Clothes and shoes

  • Food and drinks

  • Events and outing

  • Books and music


To understand this theory more, let us consider an example.

In 2019, the National Retail Federation (NRF) surveyed to find out how children influence the purchase decisions made by a family. The report concluded that,

  1. 80% of the parents, who were part of the survey, claimed that their children's role in the family's purchase decision is more as compared to the time when they were of their child’s age.

  2. 48% of parents were influenced by their children about purchases that are made specifically for the child.

  3. More than one-third said, their children influence purchases, made for the household.

  4. During the purchase journey, about three-quarters of parents, involve their children at the beginning phase, allowing them to research products, in-store (69%) or on apps (67%), or by watching commercials (60%).

  5. About 56% of parents gave their child the liberty to add products to the wish-list or purchase cart.

  6. About 56% of parents involve their children before purchasing the product, generally while checking for prices or availability of the product.

  7. 26% of parents prefer involving their children only at the check-out phase of the purchase journey.

  8. 12% of parents involve their child after the purchase process while leaving reviews about the product or service.

As we read above, the majority of parents are likely to shop at a retailer, as this process makes it easier for parents to involve their children in the shopping process. Nearly, 9 in 10 parents (87%), feel that brands have made it easier for them to involve their child in the purchase process. Apart from this, there was also an immediate need which was felt to improvise the process of shopping for parents and their children.

 

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