Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Make Allowances for Young Consumers

A recent PBS feature claims that America’s future economic wellbeing depends on children learning from others how to be savvy consumers. From early years on, give the kids some discretionary income and then let them benefit from experience. Parent educator Vicki Hoefle advises, “If you can trust them not to put the money in their mouths, you can trust them with an allowance.” Then as the children get older, require them to earn the money they spend.
     Retailers also can shape purchasing habits. In selling to children, obey the law, respect business ethics, and keep the children’s caretakers fully informed. Once you’ve pledged yourself to do all this, remember how children are a fruitful market. Boost your profits by choosing the right approaches to trigger children’s purchase demand.
  • Consumer orientation. Little consumers ages 3 to 6 like to classify products, such as by size, color, or function. Make it easy for the young child to figure out how a product is different from what she already has. For children from about ages 7 to 11, a trigger is value for money. With product comparisons in advertising and store signage, make the features or benefits list visibly longer for more expensive items than for the less costly ones. And for children ages 12 to 16, give them evidence they can use to convince their parents and themselves to buy, such as information about return/exchange policies. 
  • Brand awareness. A large percentage of children’s purchase desires include brand name. Research studies have estimates of that percentage ranging from 50% to 90%. And those research studies find that the degree of brand awareness grows as the child gets older. Brand awareness includes store name. Children come to favor shopping at certain stores. Make your store name a trigger for purchases by children. 
  • Dissatisfaction. As with their adult caretakers, young consumers tend to be promotion-focused or prevention-focused. The promotion-focused children want more and more. The trigger for them is an opportunity to add to their collections. The prevention-focused children want to avoid risks, such as losing social prestige. A trigger is showing them the current popularity of the item among groups the child wants to belong to. 
     Beyond spending wisely, there are two consumer skills retailers can help caretakers teach:
  • Saving for the future. Extend layaway to children’s purchases. 
  • Donating. In store partnerships with charities, consider which causes make the most sense to kids. 
Click below for more: 
Employ Purchase Triggers for Children 
Include the Kids in Financial Literacy Talk
Prepare for Selling to Preteens 
Crack the Code of the Healthy Snacker 
Think Through Layaway Implications 
Differentiate Yourself in Charity Sponsorship

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