How Much Influence Do Teens Wield Over Their Parents’ Purchase Decisions?

June 23, 2015

YouGov-Teen-Influence-Household-Purchase-Decisions-Jun2015Children are “active decision makers in family economies,” says YouGov in releasing the results of a recent survey examining kids’ influence on their parents’ buying decisions. The survey analyzes kids’ influence across a range of categories, noting that young children can hold as much persuasive power as teens in those decisions..

While the study analyzes responses from parents with children aged 6-17, the following results pertain solely to those parents with children aged 12-17.

Examining categories in which an adult makes the purchases, the report finds – not surprisingly – that teens are most likely to have at least some degree of influence over purchases the adults make for them:

  • Apparel for the teen to wear (96% of teens having some degree of influence);
  • Personal care products for the teen (93%); and
  • Footwear for the teen (93%).


Teens also wield a significant amount of influence over adults’ purchases of in-home entertainment content (78%) and in-home gaming systems (74%), but less so over in-home entertainment devices (47%) and the parents’ hand-held mobile products (42%). Still, roughly 1 in 5 say that the teen picks the parent’s mobile device independently (7%) or with the parent (11%).

When it comes to categories in which households have made a purchase during the prior year, parents were most likely to ascribe some degree of purchase influence to their teens in the following areas (see chart at the top of this article):

  • Which fast-food restaurants to go to (95%);
  • Types of out-of-home entertainment/sports/recreation to attend or do (93%);
  • Where to shop for clothes for the teen (90%);
  • Which sit-down restaurants to go to (88%); and
  • Where to shop for footwear for the teen (88%).

Interestingly, half of parents said their teens influence where to shop for in-home entertainment and technology devices, and close to half said they influence which vehicle to purchase or lease (45%) and where they go on vacations without their children (44%).

For more results, see the full study, which can be accessed here.

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