Where do British kids spend their cash?

Yes, Amazon is still the top spot for kids e-commerce spending, but new research on their online shopping may be cause for a double take.
July 4, 2019

With a collective US$312 million per month to spend at their own discretion, UK kids ages three to 18 have a flurry of possibilities at their fingertips when it comes to using their cash. And a mouse click, it seems, has become increasingly one of them.

While the majority (57%) of children in the UK still turn to brick-and-mortar retailers for their shopping needs, e-commerce continues to gain significant traction among this cohort, according to Kids Insights’ May 2019 survey of more than 400 children in the region. The research firm’s findings also show that online shopping has grown by 44% among this demo over the last two years.

Among four- to 12-year-olds, 33% spend more online than offline (a 77% rise from 21 months ago). The gap is smaller among teens, with 49% of them currently reporting that they spend more dollars online compared to offline. And in terms of engaging with online retailers, more than 25% of teens report that they currently use Snapchat to keep up to date with their favorite shops.

Amazon reigns as the favorite online retailer across demos, with 32% of kids turning to the e-commerce giant for their shopping needs. In fact, among three- to 12-year olds, Amazon is four times more popular than its competitors, which include eBay (8.3%), Argos (2.2%), GAME (2.2%) and Smyths (1.3%).

Still, the report finds that Amazon’s dominance has fallen slightly among 13- to 18-year-olds (to 29%, from 35%). Looking to capitalize on teens’ online market spend is ASOS (4.9% popularity), which, according to the report, has recently amplified its digital marketing effortsparticularly when it comes to influencer activity.

ASOS’ push comes in the wake of the retailer witnessing a 28% decrease in popularity among teens. However, Kids Insights data shows that teens who favor ASOS are 26% more likely to engage with their favorite shops on Instagram, which is likely a driving force behind the company’s influencer inspiration.

Environmental awareness, meanwhile, is also inspiring this generation of kidsand retailers have taken note. According to Tim Burge, Kids Insights’ research and trends director, roughly a third of UK children regularly consider how their actions affect the environment (up from 25% a year ago). In this regard, Burge believes the future of fashion will hinge on sustainability and responsibility, and not just on speed to market.

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