Influencers having little sway on back-to-school buys in MENA region

Centrepoint-YouGov survey reveals 46 per cent of children are inspired by their friends
Influencers having little sway on back-to-school buys in MENA region
By Gavin Gibbon
Sun 18 Aug 2019 02:54 PM

A third of children in the MENA region are influenced by advertisements when it comes to back-to-school shopping, with only one in four swayed by influencers and celebrities, according to the latest survey from Centrepoint.

The ‘Back to School’ survey, conducted from July 22 to 29 in key markets across the MENA region, found nearly one in four purchase decisions are influenced by movies, while one in three parents said their children are persuaded to buy what they saw online (not social media), with only 22 percent stating that social media inspired a child's choice in back-to-school essential purchases.

Simon Smith, chief operating officer of Centrepoint, said: “This is an important shopping season of the year, and retailers and brands must be on watch for new and ongoing back-to-school trends.”

Conducted by YouGov, covering over 1,000 respondents across the Middle East and North Africa region, the survey also noted that 46 percent of the children are inspired by their friends, while shopping decisions on back-to-school purchases are influenced by 41 percent of the parents.

Kerry McLaren, head of Omnibus MENA at YouGov, said: “It was interesting to see that most kids get their choice inspiration from friends and parents with whom they connect on daily basis.”

In other top findings, 71 per cent of parents surveyed said their children are most excited about buying backpacks followed by clothes (62 percent), footwear (61 percent) and classroom supplies (57 percent).

With branded accessories now the norm in back-to-school shopping, one-third of parents surveyed said their children look for Disney cartoon characters on their back-to-school purchases, followed by Barbie (32 percent), Hello Kitty (29 percent), Disney princesses (26 percent), superheroes (23 percent) and Disney animated movie characters (23 percent).

Famous personalities, bands and singers do not curry much favour among children with only 3 to 4 percent making a purchase decision based on these illustrations in both the UAE and Saudi. Fictional characters such as those from the Harry Potter series, Games of Thrones and Star Wars too are not exceptionally popular with only 9 per cent rooting for it in both markets.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of parents surveyed stated casuals are the first choice of their children, followed by sports-inspired (38 percent) and athleisure (36 percent) clothing.

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