The study aims to explore the evolving status of children as active consumers in the emerging Indian market by assessing their impact on family buying practices across distinct parental clusters.
The study uses a structured questionnaire to draw a quota sample of 136 urban Indian parents across four child segments from two Indian metropolitan cities to understand their attitudes towards parenting and the consequent empowerment of their children for actively participating in family purchase decisions around varied children’s product categories.
Exploratory factor analysis reveals five well-defined parental attitudes towards child rearing. The attitudinal factors are used to define three discrete parental clusters, namely, time-pressed parents, child-centric parents and socially influenced parents. The demographic and psychographic profiles of the clusters expose the significant influence of the educated and affluent parents in empowering their children as more active influencers/consumers. The role of children as independent buyers of eatables and toys over other categories is also re-established.
The diversity of Indian parents both in terms of their family structure and attitude towards parenting significantly deliver decisive signals for market-specific segmentation strategies. The uniformity in their shopping frequency and increasing child involvement in family purchases also highlight the opportunities ahead.
Empirical evidences on the growing role of children in family purchases and their transformation into active consumer in an evolving market adds to the existing under-represented family consumption literature with more market-specific insights.
The authors wish to acknowledge the two anonymous reviewers for their detailed and constructive comments that have been immensely helpful in adding value to the quality of the manuscript.
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