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The Insights Family: How the power of influencers is driving the direct to consumer trend

Over the last year and a half, virtual interactions have played a significant role in parents’ shopping influence as bricks and mortar stores have been closed for extended periods of time.

The factors which influence parents’ purchasing decisions and habits has evolved in recent years, with social media becoming increasingly powerful and popular within the retail environment, as well as influencers having an impact.

For Millennial parents (18-35s) with children aged between 1-5, friends and family still remain the most important influencers on their buying process, with 63% of these parents reporting that friends and family recommendations are influential in their purchase decisions in 2021.

However, younger parents aged under 25 are becoming more likely to be influenced by celebrities or an influencer who endorses a particular product. 1 in 2 parents under 25 say that a celebrity or influencer endorsement is an influential factor on their purchasing decision, which is a 39% increase since January this year.

Influencers have become an increasingly powerful and vital part of targeting an audience effectively, and parents are included within this.

According to Parents Insights data, 23% of parents with children aged between 1-5 use social media to shop and buy products. These parents also over-index by 136% on lifestyle, parenting and food influencer Stacey Solomon being the top favourite influencer. They are also fans (over-indexing 125%) on Mrs Hinch, who features tips for home cleaning.

This highlights the increasing power influencers and celebrities hold to consumers, and the presence they possess on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, of which parents of young children use 79%, 90% and 93%, respectively.

In the last few years, we have seen significant growth in direct to consumer (D2C). The Insights Family Kids & Family Industry Report 2021 revealed that 52% of toys and games companies anticipate that their revenue from direct to consumer models will increase in 2021. Many brands are beginning to shift their models, placing a larger focus towards this.

Stacey Solomon is a popular lifestyle and parenting influencer.
Stacey Solomon is a popular lifestyle and parenting influencer.

What does it mean for you?

It’s clear that families are changing not only the reason they buy products, but how they buy them too.

Since Parents Insights began surveying in January 2021, parents across the UK report that they are highly influenced by celebrities and other social media stars on their relative platforms. Targeting your audience effectively is becoming more and more difficult every day, as kids and parents’ attention is increasingly fragmented across a number of platforms and sites.

Utilising the power and focus that celebrities and social media influencers have can help to capture the attention of parents more effectively with young children, as they are consistently active on the platforms.

As the convenience and efficiencies of online shopping continues to grow and expand, the use of social media platforms as a location where products can be sole direct to consumers will only become more prominent. 2020 saw a number of brands increase their focus and investment in developing their DTC offerings.

In 2021, UK parents of 1-5s have reported a 28% increase in trust for adverts on Facebook, demonstrating how influencers are creating trust among consumers and helping to reinforce the strong growth of the direct to consumer model. D2C also makes it more possible for smaller, independent brands to reach an audience, cutting out traditional intermediaries, and communicating directly with their audience via social media platforms.

To learn more about the attitudes, behaviour and consumption patterns of kids, parents, and families, and to get freemium access to the Insights Family real-time data portal, please visit:

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