06 Mar 2020 18:55 IST

Children are having a bigger say in family purchases

Marketers must note that youngsters are influencing buying decisions on high-value purchases too

Are children really important factors in the household buying decisions and how brand aware are they? Indeed they are a big influence in family purchasing patterns, says Prof Rituparna Basu, Associate Professor of Marketing, Retail and Entrepreneurship at International Management Institute (IMI) Kolkata.

“Greater affluence within a family, dual-income households, single-parent units, co-shopping behaviour, and discussions with children on family purchases, combined with the young people’s exposure to consumption-related information on electronic devices, have brought about a huge change in the way youngsters influence buying decisions, especially about products and services beyond those meant for children to high-value purchases or investments,” says Prof Rituparna.

Children as a single group encompass a broad section of the consumer base, and there are clear sub-segments within the larger base of young consumers, she explained, adding: “The child’s influence on a purchase decision varies according to the cognitive development associated with physical age and increases as parents yield more to the opinion of older children. For example, kids of 5-7 years may have more of a say in deciding entertainment options for the family, while the tweens (aged 8-12) would influence such decisions as choice of holidays. And children in the age group of 15-17 would be a part of bigger purchase decisions, like choice of a home or a personal vehicle for the family.”

According to Prof Rituparna, instead of the parents' consumption patterns socialising the child to become a consumer, the child's preferences are increasingly guiding the parents' consumption behaviour. So children across age groups, and their changing priorities, have become an important consideration set to be factored by marketers while they were planning promotions for products and services meant for family consumption. Read a related story here.