“Mummy, can I have that? Pleeeease!" This is the predictable cry of children everywhere when faced with a toy shop window or an eye catching TV advert. The cry that even a two year old can perfect, as they nurture a growing sense of their own preferences and interests. But the answer is “no”…unless of course, it’s Christmas, their birthday, they've done something good or you need to bribe them (!).
Research has shown that the average child costs their parents £460 a year by nagging them for goodies, which could range from sweets or chocolate, to more unusual items such as cleaning products which have appeared in TV adverts – my five year old son is an excellent ambassador for Vanish cleaning products, so I know this only too well.
One way to avoid the stress of pester power is to shop online, and with our buying habits becoming increasingly shaped by technology, it comes as no great shock that we as parents are leading an online revolution in UK retail. Research from the latest CHILDWISE Pre-school Report reveals that the majority of parents would prefer to shop online, or at least order online and collect in store, when buying toys and gifts for their pre-schoolers.
Online retailer Amazon features as the single most popular shopping destination for toys and gifts for under-fives. And whilst collectively, the major supermarkets do account for more young children’s gift and toy purchasing, more than a quarter of parents prefer to shop online for toys from Tesco, Asda, and Sainsburys.
Argos is the second most common destination for kid’s toys, almost as popular as Amazon. Parents prefer the in-store experience there, but a quarter currently choose to shop at Argos online. Argos have recently begun the process of replacing their paper catalogue with tablets in their new digital stores, hoping to bring the convenience of browsing online to the high street.
For friends, family members, and often parents themselves, it’s not always easy to know what gift to get a child under five — at this age their brand loyalties are beginning to take shape, but their interests can change quickly and often. Our report shows that whilst parents are most likely to be consulted about gift buying, in fact two out of five pre-schoolers choose most of their own toys, with boys choosing top brands including Thomas the Tank Engine, Spiderman, Lego, and girls choosing Disney’s Frozen, Peppa Pig, and Barbie.
And how much do parents spend on toys and gifts for their under 5s? We discovered that most parents expect to spend around £100 on their child for their birthday, and for Christmas presents, a quarter will spend in excess of £150.
The annual CHILDWISE Pre-School Report talks to more than 1000 parents of 0-4 year olds, asking about their children’s media use and parents’ spending habits