According to eMarketer recent studies show that more than 40% of children aged 6-11 have visited a website they saw in a commercial after being given the simple instructions, “Please visit our website for more information.” Of those young viewers, 26.5% were between the ages of six and seven, 33.3% were between the ages of eight and nine, and 40.2% were between the ages of 10 and 11.
I. Why Are Children More Likely To Listen To Advertisers?
- They’re excited about being online. Children are getting online earlier and earlier and are as excited about the privilege of being online as our generation was about getting to watch our favorite television programs when we were kids. In fact, of a sample of 5-8 year olds more than half reported that were already online. Kids already want to be on the internet- giving them a URL to go to just provides direction while they are there.
- They’re not jaded. When it comes to sales pitches and gimmicks children are not jaded like adults. Because they have not yet been exposed to many online sales tricks they are much more trusting when they see or read something on a website. When a child is told to visit a particular website they do not have any reason to believe they should not go there or that it may not live up to their expectations. Some children may not even have an idea of what they will find when they get there- they just go because they are curious.
- They’re quick to remember. Children seem to remember everything! Their highly observant minds make them great at remembering things like websites, brand names, product names, etc. Children can see an advertisement on television today and visit it in a week (especially if it is incorporated into a song or associated with a particularly memorable character).
- They’re still learning. Children are eager to learn and experience new things, but they also hold onto the same old things that make them happy (think about the tattered old blankets and bears kids drag around for years). They may visit the same websites over and over to see if there is anything new but they also play the same games, read the same stories, and look at the same pictures. In this way, a fun well-designed site can be held onto by a child for many years.
II. What Does This Mean For Ecommerce?
Even if your company is not advertising on television or in other areas where kids can see your website, the abundance of children online these days has huge implications for the future of ecommerce.
- There will be more ecommerce websites specifically targeting children. Expect to see more sites online in the upcoming months and years that are specifically designed for children. We do not just anticipate seeing more fun gaming-type sites for young internet surfers but also ecommerce sites (like www.weecanshop.com) that help children shop for gifts for loved ones and friends.
- Sites that are already kid themed will be even more kid-friendly. It is getting more popular for kid themed sites to offer ways for children to view merchandise related to the entertainment aspects that they are attracted to online. By making it easy for children to correlate having fun and playing online with getting presents and gifts, it glamorizes the products and encourages them to ask for the featured toys and accessories. As these children’s sites develop, navigation menus will get easier and designs more vivid- attracting kids of all ages. Wish lists will probably become more widespread so that children can single out items that they like and view them later or share them with friends.
- Children will be driving more purchase decisions than ever before. What children want children get. Think about grocery shopping with kids and they way they grab at cereals, candy bars, gum, and other novelties conveniently placed within the reach of their tiny arms from the floor. While some parents may continue to be disciplined about what they get their children, there will likely be a rise in sales of children’s toys and accessories online as some parents concede. Whether or not the total sales of children’s items increases though, it appears that the percentage of these types of sales conducted online will be higher than ever.
Anyone who has seen A Christmas Story can recall the iconic scene where Ralphie stands out in front of the store window peering in at the toy of his dreams- the Red Ryder BB Gun. Later, at home, he carefully slips an official ad for the BB Gun into his mother’s Look Magazine to subtly hint to her that he wants it for Christmas. With the rise in internet savvy children those days are over. By the time the holidays roll around next year you may find your child comparison shopping online and then get carbon copied on an email to Santa with your son/daughter’s holiday wish list, or texted by an online store letting you know which items your child wants to see in their stocking.
Thinking of starting an online store? Try Volusion.
-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist