Kids Insights


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Our latest research published in Toy News looks at the livestream shopping trend and the future of online shopping.

Due to restrictions because of the COVID pandemic we have seen a change in consumers shopping behaviours to become more online seeing a 25% increase in the proportion of kids who are shopping more online than offline (46%) peaking with older teens (60%). With many shops having to close their door in lockdown, brands have had to look for new ways to reach their customer base, coming up with more innovative, state-of-the-art ways to stay connected with consumers.

One of the latest trends in terms of spending for kids is INXP. In-Experience purchasing continues to grow at a significant rate through spending on apps and in app purchases. UK children (aged 3-18) are spending in total more than half a billion pounds (£581m; $754.8m) on apps and in-app purchases every year, while in the US this figure is over $5bn.

Although still small in the UK, Europe and the US, Livestream or live shopping is a popular way to shop in China, which is one of the top sources of revenue per hour. The basis of this is instead of pre-recorded shows going out, it is similar to the QVC shopping channel where everything is live. The content is highly interactive with potential shoppers being able to comment or ask questions to the host who can see these comments and react in real time. They tend to host a mixture of influencers, celebrities or models who help promote the product or company.  These types of platforms offer consumers a new more social way to shop online showing an opportunity for growth over here.  

Direct to consumer models are becoming increasingly popular in advertising while traditional retail stores decline. Consumers become fully engaged with these brands as they present an easy, hassle free way of shopping and many brands such as Amazon are doing this, effectively cutting out the middleman.

Amazon has started letting influencer earn a commission based on the sale of products features in their livestream therefore making it easy for consumers to buy. With 55% of kids in the UK using YouTube, 32% Instagram and 27% Facebook that all have livestreaming options and swipe up features kids’ can now discovery new brands from their favourite platform/influencers and go direct to the brands website or where to buy, helping streamline this pathway. Therefore, livestreaming could become more popular in these countries with the backing of the largest online retailer behind it.

9.2m kids in the UK are saying they use YouTube daily. With influencers being a key part of the livestreaming shopping, popular YouTubers are in the best place to help promote livestreaming shopping platforms. When looking at the favourite YouTuber for 3-9yrs kids Ryan’s World comes top, he regularly reviews toys that then go to sell out. Therefore, getting the right influencer is imperative for brands when decide to livestream their product/brand.

Streaming services in other areas of the kid’s ecosystem are a popular with this generation so shopping could be another area that grows. In gaming we have seen livestreaming become more popular. Twitch the livestreaming gaming platform has grown by 11% over the last year for kids watching it and Fornite’s live music concerts, has brought in new players and show these platforms can be used for more than just gaming. Those who use Twitch are 55% more likely to buy toys relating to their favourite video games than the average kids who play video games. Showing an opportunity to sell toys to kids that already stream.

We have also seen a growth in esports with over a third of kids in the UK now watching or part-taking in esports (35%) and TV platforms that use streaming services are more of a norm, with 53% more kids watching Netflix more this week than last compared to 2 years ago. Therefore, showing kids preference towards streaming services now a days.

We know kids are increasingly becoming more independent financially; being 16% more likely to use PayPal, 18% more likely to use cash card and 8% more likely to use a debit card to spend their own money than a year ago. They also now have more influence over their parents shopping decisions, our data showing an increase in the proportion of kids saying they have a lot of influence over 18 out of the 20 household items we track with 52% saying they have a lot of influence over toys growing by 10%. With this new power they are spending their own money on their favourite toys and games stickers (16%), puzzles (16%) and fun stationery (12%) which could be potential areas of growth as well as other toys products their parents buy.

Overall, Livestreaming is in its infancy for shopping in the UK, Europe and the US. However, if we continue to see the reliance on streaming services grow there are indications that this type of shopping may become a new way for consumers to buy the items they want.  Any Livestreaming shopping platform would need to be compliant with laws and regulation around kids which may mean that Livestreaming is not a viable option for the younger kids at the moment but more so for their parents.

We are helping a lot of brands evaluate and determine their retail to consumer strategies, as there is no doubt that one of the lasting impacts of Covid might be the transformation of retail to become fully direct to consumer.

Our research and strategy team works with clients from across the sector, using data from surveying 240,000 kids across the globe. We provide insight to help clients develop their advertising, content, licensing, marketing, product and sales strategies.

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