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Tweens: Tapping Into the New Power Players of Consumerism

The one consumer group discount and variety stores should court might be the same one inadvertently discouraged from spending money in your store. The Tween, a person aged between 9 and 13, is often discouraged from entering a shop with stern looks from security and a request to leave school bags at the door. But encouraging this group into the store and catering to the modern Tween shopper allow retailers to tap into millions of dollars of disposable income.
 
A new study by POPAI, TWEENS R' SHOPPERS: A LOOK AT THE TWEEN MARKET & SHOPPING BEHAVIOR, tells a new story about a demographic that can easily be written off as insignificant or predictable. Based on American research, the findings indicate something very different. In fact, today's Tweens have more disposable income to spend but they're more cautious with how they spend it than previous generations. This shift in spending behaviour means retailers must change how they manage in-store promotions.

Spending power of Tweens

Tweens spend an annual average of $2047, comprised of pocket-money, gifts and savings. The average Australian child will earn $8.15 a week in pocket money. A significant part of their income is spent on impulse purchases for FMCG items like confectionary, fizzy drinks and snacks. What's different about this current crop of 9 to 13-year-olds, however, is their interest in getting a bargain.
 
In the post GFC world, parents have educated their children about the importance of saving and restraint. While Australia has escaped largely unscathed from the financial collapse suffered in other parts of the world, Australian consumers are exhibiting caution and those lessons have been passed on to their children.

How to attract Tween shoppers

More than 70% of Tween purchase decisions are made jointly by parent and child but Tweens possess "pester power". Even when a parent says 'no', Tweens persist. 6 of 10 Tweens will ask an average of 9 times for brands they want and that adds up. Retailers who help parents say 'yes' are best poised to get the Tween dollar. Techniques that appeal to both parents and the liberal mindset of a Tween can be accomplished in a number of ways including:
 
  • Showing nutritional information on signs
  • Displaying 'buy local' program on signage
  • Tapping into 'fair trade' and environmental programs for your promotions
  • Use signs giving product information to help Tweens convince parents about a purchase
 
The POPAI report suggests Tweens are savvy when it comes to finances in a way never before seen in children of this age group. When asked about major concerns, the 'economy' and 'joblessness' topped the list for the past two years.More than any time in history, young people are looking for bargains. Promotional signage goes a long way to convincing Tweens to purchase in your store.
 
  • Use 'was/now' pricing on signage to display savings on purchases
  • Incorporate multiple product promotions generating reduced savings
  • Show reductions for volume purchases

What this means for retailers

Tweens have more spending money and influence with their parents than any previous generation. While they are still immature and prone to impulse buying, Tweens also demonstrate caution when making purchasing decisions. Discount and variety retailers are perfectly poised to attract the Tween consumer by showing economic advantages to purchase through their promotional signage.
 
If you'd like more information about how to appeal to the Tween shopper using your promotional signage, contact us at SignIQ and we'd be happy to give you some suggestions.
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