Online influencers 'guiding kids' shopping'
Written by Peter Walker
More than half (55 per cent) of children aged six to 16 want to buy a product if their favourite YouTube or Instagram star is using or wearing it, according to Wunderman Thompson Commerce.
The company's Generation Alpha report, based on a study of over 4,000 6 to 16 year-olds in the UK and US, highlighted the growing importance of influencers in the lives of the next generation of shoppers, with a further 14 per cent saying they'd like for influencers to operate their own retail outlets in the future.
While friends have the biggest impact on what children want to buy (28 per cent), social media influencers come in a close second (25 per cent). In fact, the majority (57 per cent) of children said seeing adverts for products on Instagram makes them want to buy them.
A significant factor when it comes to influence was also the type of content they are viewing. Online videos (24 per cent) came through as the top result, followed closely by social media posts (19 per cent) and TV adverts (19 per cent), both of which will be looking to gain the upper hand in a crowded market.
Neil Stewart, global chief executive at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “While some brands and retailers are already making the most of the strong connection between influencers and consumers, it will be crucial for businesses to watch the evolution of the influencer trend.
"If younger consumers' wishes are granted and influencers become retailers themselves, this will only mean more competition for existing brands and retailers."
But despite the potential changes in the market in the future, one existing e-commerce giant seems to be reaping the rewards of providing its customer what they want, when they want it, and cementing its lead; Amazon.
For this age group it was among the most recognised and well-liked brands, with an overwhelming 90 per cent of 13 to 16 year-olds having heard of Amazon, closely followed by 88 per cent of 10 to 12 year-olds and 74 per cent of 6 to 9 year-olds.
As well as being aware, the vast majority (70 per cent) of children know what Amazon Prime is and 63 per cent know what it does as well. A further 46 per cent have access to an Amazon Prime account.
Amazon has been conditioning a whole new set of customers to use its services and this is set to influence their current and future expectations. When asked what Amazon is most famous for, 62 per cent said shopping, 17 per cent said quick delivery, six per cent said voice assistants and five per cent said TV shows and movies.
This awareness translates into the use of Amazon’s services, as a quarter said that they buy most of their purchases from Amazon (26 per cent), second only to the supermarket. However, there is still hope for brands and retailers, as two thirds of kids said they like to buy from companies that are trying to do good in the world.
Stewart added that today's younger generation wants it all and have been conditioned by Amazon to expect it all, too.
"Retailers and brands need to not just think about the next one or two years, but also the next five to 10 - this future will be one where they must work with Amazon to ensure that customers can purchase their goods and services via the Seattle behemoth, whilst also ensuring that their own direct to consumer platforms encourage customers to come directly to them."