Digimums' online grocery shopping: the end of children's influence?


  • Ayadi Kafia
  • Muratore Isabelle

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Purpose This paper investigates children's influence on their mothers' online grocery shopping. As virtual shopping does not provide instant gratification, the authors explore how children between the ages of 7 and 11 are involved in the online purchasing process (before, during and after the purchase) with their digital mothers ( digimums) . Design/methodology/approach We collected qualitative data from 27 separate semi-structured interviews of mothers and their children. Findings Children's influence during the online buying process exists and can be active, passive and/or proactive. The findings extend knowledge about children's influence by adding the notion of proactive influence where children use an intended approach to anticipate their mother's needs for grocery shopping and take initiatives. Children use less impulsive requests and become smart shoppers using more rational arguments to explain their requests. The online buying process contributes to children's online socialisation: They learn the importance of the shopping list, prices, discounts, brands and so on. Online socialisation at home might take the physical form of using digital devices (i.e. scanning) and entering the credit card code, which contributes to the children's learning. Originality/value Online buying virtualises children's relationship to objects, and the screen acts as a kind of filter. This makes their influence strategy less emotional and corporeal and more rational ( smart shopper ).

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