Eighty-seven percent of parents say their children influence their purchases in some way, according to the National Retail Federation's fall 2019 Consumer View report. The most common time for parents to involve their children is when researching features and product reviews, checking prices, or looking up product availability.
Parents reported involving their children in purchasing decisions because their kids will be using the item (57%), because their opinion matters to the parent (57%) and to teach decision making (56%). "We're seeing a shift in the way families shop where children are much more involved with purchasing decisions," NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said in the association's press release.
Generation Z, born 1995 and later, influences the specific brands parents consider, product features and specific retailers considered, the report noted. Forty-eight percent of purchases specifically for Gen Z children are influenced by the demographic, while 36% of household purchases are influenced by this generation.
Parents and their Gen Z children shop together in a variety of ways. Sixty-nine percent of parents reported involving their children in purchase decisions by looking at products in store, while 67% said they look at products online, according to NRF's report. That tracks with what we've seen over the past few years as interest in this young generation grows.
Gen Z enjoys going to physical stores, as they want to evaluate a curated selection and finish the purchase with the immediate gratification of choosing an item and taking it home.
NRF points out a few retailers and partnerships that stand out in their attempts to engage with Gen Z and their parents, including Disney's plans to open "retailtainment" toy shops within Target locations, which provide interactive displays, music, photo stations and movie clips alongside merchandise.
The organization also pointed to Walmart, which asked children to test out its toys for the upcoming season and Aeropostale, which offers a shareable online wishlist that kids can send to their parents. By encouraging "all-inclusive family shopping," as NRF puts it, retailers can capitalize on the influence children have on family spending.
To that end, more than four in five parents said they're more likely to shop at a retailer that makes it easy for them to involve their children, and 80% of respondents said they wish retailers would make it easier to involve their kids in purchasing decisions.