Kids Influence Household Purchases of Consumer Electronics

According to "Kids and Consumer Electronics, 2011 Edition," the latest report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, kids' inclination to use consumer electronics devices, and their desire for the content they can access using them, helps to drive the household purchasing of these products. 

When looking at devices purchased in the past year, there are signs that many were purchased specifically so that kids could use them.  For example, 78% of portable video game systems purchased, and 56% of portable digital media players (PDMP) purchased were given to the child. There are almost as many kids using computers (73%) as are using televisions (74%), and nearly 60% of kids are using a portable or console gaming system.

For households with kids ages 4 to 14, newer devices such as e‑readers and media tablets were acquired at single-​digit rates (8% and 5%, respectively) in the past year, slowly driving up the number of homes where kids have access to these devices.

The report also notes a slight decline in the average number of days in which kids use cell phones, PDMPs and portable video game systems since last year. For all other devices, the average number of days kids are using them has remained stable or declined, suggesting kids are maxed out on time.

"In terms of kids' usage of new devices, one consideration to keep in mind is the fact that the novelty of these new devices may be leading kids to a shorter-​term change in behavior," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Kids who have access to a media tablet may temporarily put down their portable video game system but not necessarily move away from the gaming system altogether."


Among households with kids ages 4–14, the share of online purchases for CE devices is sizeable; for example, 46% for e‑readers, and 31% for desktop computers. As a comparison, only around 9% of toys are purchased online for kids in this age group.

Pricing is the most important driver when it comes to choosing a retailer for CE device purchases made at both a physical store or online, but pricing was notably more important for online purchases. Devices such as e‑readers and digital video cameras have the highest penetration among online retailers, which may be driven by early-​adopters seeking good value for these often pricey devices.

"Obviously, consumer electronics devices carry a hefty price tag as compared to something like a toy item," said Frazier. "Online shopping gives purchasers an easy way to seek out the best prices and offers."

{Source:  "Kids and Consumer Electronics, 2011 Edition."  The NPD Group.  20 July 2011.  Web.  27 July 2011.]