Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Retailers are marketing directly to kids with personalized messages on their smartphones, WashPost national retail reporter Abha Bhattarai reports on the Sunday Business cover.

The big picture: "Children and preteens are more connected to the Internet than ever, which means retailers are looking for new ways to ... sell ... directly to young shoppers on their phones, tablets and laptops."

"[C]ompanies are flocking to Snapchat, YouTube Kids and other mobile apps to reach children with personalized messages."

The Snapchat factor: "Nearly 1.5 million children age 11 and under have active Snapchat accounts, according to data from eMarketer, which expects continued double-digit growth in coming years. (Snapchat requires that users be at least 13.)"

  • "The social media platform ... has emerged as a holy grail for retailers in search of young consumers.
  • "That is especially true ... during back-to-school seasons, where last year users spent an extra 130 million hours ... to chat with friends and connect with popular brands such as Vans, Hollister and Michael Kors."

Also big for reaching tweens: YouTube.

P.S. Amazon "allows children as young as 13 to create their own logins... Parents can either set spending limits or ask to approve all purchases."

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