Kids Insights


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Our latest research published in C21, looks at  how media envolving and merging into retail. 

In the 12 months before to the global Coronavirus pandemic, in the UK, we have witnessed traditional retail locations struggling. According to our data, aged 9 is where spending ramps up, with 15% using kid-cash cards (76% more likely than the average kid) and 41% spend money online ( 8% more likely than the average kids). Now, with the added pressure from the new lockdown restrictions being imposed, many shops are having to close their doors. This has left brands having to innovate and find a new path to market, with some brands moving to a more direct-to-customer model.

For this generation of kids, who are growing up in a world which does not have conventional boundaries – and sectors seamlessly merge with one another that the impact of their attitudes, behaviour and consumption is significant. For example by the age of 8 10% of kids have the ability to purchase online via a cash card such as Go Henry means and that 14% of 6-9yrs olds are spending on  in app purchases, the average £3.22 a month – meaning that not only are their current shopping behaviours very different than previous generations, and ultimately their future attitudes, behaviours and consumption is been formed at this young age.

We have seen how Snapchat and Instagram have innovated to introduce shopping capabilities, and  recently we have seen details of NBC launching shoppable adverts within their content – which is another example of sectors merging, and the beginning of merging media and shopping as one .


Toy companies like Mattel and Hasbro have also started to experiment. Hasbro’s Bring Home the Fun, and Mattel’s Playroom, are concepts that should help the brands products stay top of mind for children as they continue to exist online; helping drive continued loyalty and engagement as we come out of the crisis. 

Looking at our data shows that toys (40%) are the most common product bought related to a child’s favourite show and that 37% of 3-9s play with toys at the same time as watching TV (an 8% increase since lockdown), showing now is a good time to experiment with strategies such as this.

However, it is not only those selling toys that have opportunities as there are differences in buying habits amongst age groups. When looking at top purchases relating to favourite TV shows, toys remain the most popular amongst preschool kids (45%) followed by magazines (35%) and clothes (32%). For kids aged 6-9yrs toys again comes top (36%), followed by clothes (29%) and magazines (29%).  But after this age toys drop out of the top 3 with tweens (10-12yrs) being most likely to buy video games (20%), DVDs (19%) and books (18%) relating to TV shows. Again, video games are most popular amongst younger teens (13-15yrs) 20%, followed by clothes (20%) and movies (17%). While older teens (16-18yrs) are more likely to be buying clothes (20%), video games (17%) and DVDs (15%) relating to their favourite TV shows. Therefore, experimentation is needed across the whole retail sector and not just toys.  Quite stat heavy not sure if all are requied

Many kids have financial freedom, empowerment and influence in the UK, spending money on what they wish; 39% of kids in the get pocket money regularly and this peaks with tweens (47%). Although cash remains the main way kids aged 8-18yrs are spending their money (66%), we have seen an increase in online spending since lockdown. In the final 2 weeks of March compared to the first 2 weeks of March spending 49% greater, demonstrating the opportunity for brands to sell to kids online and help shape habits for the future. As well as kids’ independence in money spending growing, they are continuing to have a major influence over their parents spending habits. Across the 20 expenditures we track, the number of kids who influence their parents ‘a lot’ has increased across 18 of them, with the biggest increase seen in board game purchases by 18% and video game purchases by 10%, both in the last 9 months. Therefore, brands need to engage kids as well as parents with as they have a huge influence on parents spending habits.

Not only are kids spending more online now but we have also seen an increase in advertising engagement. During the coronavirus lockdown, we have seen a 63% increase in the proportion of kids in the UK saying they saw their favourite advert are on app on their phone/tablet (3.1%) and as brands are streamlining the path consumers take from discovery to purchase, kids are engaging with retailers more on social media. For instance, kids engaging with retailers on Snapchat has increased by 13% in the last 3 months. The ‘Swipe up’ features, which directs a user to a brands page, shows that Snapchat is a brand-friendly platform.

Moreover, during the same time period, out data shows a 17% increase in tweens aged 10-12 are engaging with stores on Instagram. Tweens who engage via Instagram are 77% more likely than average to shop at fashion stores than those who do not. Stores such as H&M, ASOS and JD Sports all utilise Instagram’s ‘shoppable posts’ feature, which allows users to purchase items in fewer clicks. It is likely that innovation like social shopping paired with lockdown restrictions to shops will have a huge impact on kids’ retail behaviour in the future.


Over the last few months we have seem many brands adapt to the new restrictions we have on our day to day lives, it will be interesting to see how many changes in behaviours will continue after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. 

To download the complimentary report on the effect of COVID-19, please click below:


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