Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Teenagers: the real bosses of household spending?

Jonathan Blum

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Technology advancements have changed the way we see the world. In fact, new generations adapt easier when it comes to consuming goods and services around them.

Research conducted by IBM and the National Retail Federation analyzed 16 countries looking for the way in which teenagers, based on their digital character, have changed their parents’ shopping dynamics. Teenagers, also known as “digital natives” or “millennials” are the main influencers at the moment of deciding what and how to buy something in their own households.

Allegedly, music, books, gadgets and apps purchases would be among the purchases with the most influence from teenagers towards their parents. However, their power of influence is higher in traditional categories such as: food, beverages and traveling. For instance, 66% of teenagers between 13 and 21, admitted to IBM’s survey that they made decisions involving family traveling; “digital natives” admitted to spending their money in events or excursions with their parents.

The knowledge teenagers have regarding new platforms to travel, buy food, prepare healthy food is what has left parents at a disadvantage when making decisions in their households.

Before, adults made decisions on how to decorate their children’s rooms, but today teenagers make their purchases in order to customize their rooms. It also happens with their clothes: 60% of the respondents influence their parents. For example, in countries such as USA, teenagers would rather go to the outlets and buy in sale than visiting traditional malls.

New technologies have allowed teenagers to have first-hand knowledge of what the market has to offer. Consequently, they are the first to know about new trends, to pass it on to their parents.

And, as a parent, how much do you let your children participate at the moment of purchase?


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Jonathan Blum

President of Cisneros Media.

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