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Children’s experiences and parents’ perceptions of retailers’ mobile applications

Laurent Muzellec (Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
Florence Feenstra (ESSCA School of Management, LUNAM University, Angers, France)
Brigitte de Faultrier (ESSCA School of Management, LUNAM University, Angers, France)
Jacques Boulay (ESSCA School of Management, LUNAM University, Angers, France)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 14 November 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the nature of a branded mobile application experience for children, and analyse how these experiences affect the children’s and parents’ brand perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a qualitative approach focussing on the consumer perspective. Children were asked to use two selected applications from an I-Pad tablet (“La Grande Récré” – A1 and “MonkiMi” – A2). Children and parents were subsequently interviewed.

Findings

Children primarily valued the emotional experience of the application (app). The parents appreciated their children’s cognitive experience of the mobile app. Parents are much more responsive to mobile application communication, as they perceive to have more control over this new media and value the cognitive and emotional dimension of their children experience of the app.

Research limitations/implications

The study shows that branded apps can be an extremely effective way in delivering valuable brand content which positively impact brand perceptions. This initial and exploratory study calls for further extensive research in this area.

Practical implications

This research demonstrates the untapped potential of sponsored apps as a communication medium.

Originality/value

The paper indicates that mobile applications constitute a new communication channel for retailers and brand owners to interact at an emotional level with their existing or prospective customers.

Keywords

Citation

Muzellec, L., Feenstra, F., de Faultrier, B. and Boulay, J. (2016), "Children’s experiences and parents’ perceptions of retailers’ mobile applications", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 44 No. 11, pp. 1118-1131. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-11-2015-0169

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited