She scrolls through the Amazon app on her phone at least once a day. She gets ideas from YouTube, searches on Google for things she wants and sends the links to her dad: pink swimsuits, earrings, Adidas sneakers (he said yes); Gucci backpack (no).
“It’s like, I’ll put 18 items in my cart, and we’ll end up getting like one or two,” said Isabella, who lives in Sharpsville, Pa., and spends about $100 a month online. “It’s so much better than going to the mall because there aren’t that many places to shop anymore.”
Children and preteens are more connected to the Internet than ever, which means retailers are looking for new ways to market — and sell — directly to young shoppers on their phones, tablets and laptops. Gone are the days of blanket television ads, marketing experts say. Instead, companies are flocking to Snapchat, YouTube Kids and other mobile apps to reach children with personalized messages.
Nearly half of 10- to 12-year-olds have their own smartphones, according to Nielsen. By the time they’re teenagers, 95 percent of Americans have access to a smartphone.
“Kids are shopping on their phones and influencing much more of their families’ spending,” said Katherine Cullen, director of retail and consumer insights for the National Retail Federation. “As a result, retailers are paying a lot more attention to pint-size customers.”
Back-to-school season is peak time for direct-to-kids marketing... “