Kids shopping

55% of Gen Alpha swayed by social stars

Why do kids make a purchase? Seeing their favorite YouTuber wearing it is a good place to start, according to new research from Wunderman Thompson.
March 12, 2020

More than half, or 55%, of Gen Alpha would purchase a product if they saw their favorite Instagram or YouTube star wearing it, a new survey by ad agency analytics firm Wunderman Thompson found. And 14% would love it if their favorite social stars had their own retail outlet. Digital influencers exerted only slightly less sway over purchasing decisions than kids friend groups, the “Generation Alpha: Preparing for the future consumer” report found.

Indeed, 10- to 12-year-olds are particularly swayed by their favorite influencers, with 61% saying they’d buy a product worn by a social star. In comparison, only 46% of 13- to 16-year-olds say they’d buy the item.

(Family, it should be noted, came in third with 21% of respondents saying they’re influenced by their parents or siblings. Rather than what they buy, families tend to have a bigger influence on how kids today shop, the study found. If parents for example shopped online, kids were likely to shop online; parents who bought off of Amazon influenced kids to do the same.)

Where kids are being influenced online is dependent on location, age and gender. For example, online videos are more likely to have an impact on Americans over Brits, with 26% of US kids saying they’re swayed by YouTubers and Instagram videos. Older kids tend to be more influenced by social media content (static images, Instagram photos, etc.), with 32% of 13- to 16-year-olds turning to those platforms for purchasing inspiration. Videos also tend to be more effective for boys (29% versus 20% for girls), while social media tends to effect girls more strongly (23% versus 13%).

The study polled more than 4,000 kids ages six to 16 in the US and the UK.


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