Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents Grossly Underestimate The Influence Their Children Wield Over In-Store Purchases

Date:
March 17, 2009
Source:
University of Vienna
Summary:
The influence children wield over their parents’ purchase decisions at the point of sale is grossly underestimated by parents. According to a new study by consumer researchers twice as many purchases in supermarkets are triggered by children than their parents are aware of.

Twice as many purchases in supermarkets are triggered by children than their parents are aware of.
Credit: iStockphoto/Don Bayley

The influence children wield over their parents’ purchase decisions at the point of sale is grossly underestimated by parents. This was shown in a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Vienna, Austria.

According to the study by consumer researchers Claus Ebster and Udo Wagner, twice as many purchases in supermarkets are triggered by children than their parents are aware of.

"Most parents seem to be completely unaware of how much their little ones make them buy“, said Claus Ebster. 178 parents shopping with their child in Austrian supermarkets were unobtrusively observed while strolling through the aisles, after which they were interviewed.

When asked how many products their children had made them buy, on average parents only reported half the number of purchases that had been secretly observed. "Considering that the majority of purchase decisions in a supermarket are made in the store, neither retailers nor parents should underestimate the importance of child-induced purchase decisions", said Udo Wagner, professor of business administration of the University of Vienna.

The two researchers also investigated factors responsible for the number of purchase requests children make. It was found that children primarily request products that are placed at their eye-level, such as sweets and toys strategically positioned by retailers on the lower shelves. The best way for parents to reduce the number of purchase requests from their child is to seat the child in the shopping cart (facing the parent), thereby restricting the child’s field of view. According to Claus Ebster, "Children seated in a stroller are also less likely to bug their parents with purchase requests".

Furthermore, parents are more likely to yield to a child’s request if the product can be used or consumed in the store, such as toys, sweets and fruit, as it keeps the child busy during the shopping trip.

The researchers also have advice for children: Asking nicely pays off! Parents were considerably more willing to yield to a child’s request if asked clearly and politely rather than when a child either angrily demanded a product or stated the request rather weakly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ebster et al. Children's influences on in-store purchases. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2009; 16 (2): 145 DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2008.11.005

Cite This Page:

University of Vienna. "Parents Grossly Underestimate The Influence Their Children Wield Over In-Store Purchases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316075853.htm>.
University of Vienna. (2009, March 17). Parents Grossly Underestimate The Influence Their Children Wield Over In-Store Purchases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316075853.htm
University of Vienna. "Parents Grossly Underestimate The Influence Their Children Wield Over In-Store Purchases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316075853.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins