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Study: Tweens Search For Products Online, Get Parents To Buy Them In Store


Tameka Kee


August 6, 2008

It's prime time for the back-to-school advertising onslaught, as retailers shilling laptops, apparel and school supplies hone in on parents and their school-age children. And according to new data from Performics, including search marketing in the media mix is crucial to snagging the attention and influence of tweens, as they are increasingly using search to make product recommendations and find pricing info for their parents.

Performics partnered with ROI Research to survey over 1,000 kids ages 10-14 on their Internet usage and purchasing habits, adhering to the guidelines set out by the (CASRO) for interviewing children for market research. Respondents had recommended or made a purchase within the past six months, and skewed more female (57%) than male (43%). About half of the kids surveyed lived and/or shopped in suburban areas, while about a third were from urban locales.

The research found that tweens were most involved in the recommendation or purchasing of electronics, apparel, consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and telecom items like mobile phones. And search seemed to impact their recommendations for electronics and telecom products the most.

For example, some 61% of respondents said that they had involved search in the purchase or recommendation process for electronics like video game systems, mp3 players and digital cameras. And 42% of tweens said that search results had made an "extreme" impact on their purchase decision or recommendation. They conducted an average of five searches before making said recommendation or purchase, and 66% of them used search to find the best prices.

With telecom products, tweens mostly tended to assist in the purchase of mobile phones, involving search in the process 56% of the time. Nearly half of the respondents said that search had an "extreme" impact on their purchase decision or recommendation, and they conducted an average of 4.5 searches each time. And two-thirds of the tweens surveyed said that they used search for price comparisons.

Peformics also found that tweens were using search to find specific product information and store locations across multiple product categories. Nearly half of all respondents said that they used search to find product Web sites in the electronics, telecom, apparel and CPG categories, while nearly half said that they used search to find out where to purchase said products online.






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