Western children have more toys, games and possessions than ever before. Australia has the highest per-child average spending on toys. Parents are increasingly giving gift certificates to their children as gifts due to the increasing number of toys available at home.
Gift cards bridge cash and tangible gifts. These can be exchanged for cash or returned. Some cultures consider cash impersonal.
Children and young children often request gift cards to enable them to select their gifts. Children are more sensitive to information than adults. Gift cards given to children may impact how they make consumer decisions and how they spend their gift card credit.
How can young children decide on a purchase?
Some types of information are difficult for children to process. Children are more attracted to visual and auditory stimuli rather than textual information. At a fundamental level, children are more attracted to color and movement.
Jean Piaget’s stages of development indicate that children do not reach formal operation before age 11-12. The children can then use logic and abstract thinking to solve any problem, even inherent in financial transactions. It is generally accepted that children don’t become “consumer-literate ” before reaching this stage.
There is evidence that children, particularly those under seven, cannot recognize advertisements in messages. Children may see advertisements as another type of program. Advertisements can be viewed as information services that help people find the right product.
Remember that not all children understand the clear intentions behind advertising. To make things worse, animated characters in children’s movies can be sold as toys. Many products, including confectionery, food, and beverages, are “placed in” movie content.
Children might not understand the selling strategies or realize that this content is active.
Gift cards can be used as a form of credit.
There are hundreds of gift cards you can buy online and in-store. Popular gift cards can be exchanged for music and online games for your kids.
Gift cards are a popular option for spending money in Australia. The gift cards manage the “credit” it bestows. This is particularly important for children. However, almost a third (including children) of gift card recipients never use them to purchase goods or services.
Young children face the dilemma of overspending or underspending when they redeem their gift cards. The child will have to negotiate with their caregivers if they purchase a product that is more costly than the gift card’s worth or opt for a different product. They may choose an item cheaper than the gift card and be unaware of the terms and conditions, such as non-cash redemption and transfer of value.
These situations can be problematic for both children and adults. Research shows that children don’t understand “disclaimers”, as these are known. This can hinder children’s ability to manage credit “.
Another factor is the rise in digital gift cards, e-vouchers and other digital products. Digital formats can present additional challenges for younger customers, even though digital literacy is high among many children.
You can send digital cards electronically to your recipients or parents if you have young children. Children don’t receive tangible gifts. What does this mean for the development of gratitude in young children?
UK researchers examined children’s letters to Santa Claus. They found a correlation between the content of their letters and their advertising exposure. Children exposed to more advertising were more likely to ask for branded merchandise than children who saw less.
Did Santa send out more Santa letters asking for gift coupons? Probably. These cards are increasingly being used as gifts, particularly at Christmas.
The Australian Youth Forum conducted a survey and found that some Australians use gift cards more than credit cards. An increasing number of children have access to their parent’s credit cards. Children as young as nine can now have credit cards. These young consumers might be unable to tell the difference between a gift certificate and a credit card.
Children cannot evaluate the marketing messages of toys and other products with the same degree of skepticism as adults. They lack the maturity and skills necessary to make informed decisions about how they spend their gift card credit. They are vulnerable.