Teens Vastly Prefer Shopping In-Store to Online; Top Spending Categories Listed

April 11, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Food & Restaurants | Media & Entertainment | Men | Radio | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

PiperJaffray-Teen-Spending-Behavior-Apr2013More than 3 in 4 teens shop online, reports Piper Jaffray in new survey results [pdf], but they prefer to shop in-store. Asked to indicate their preference, 78% of female teens responding to the survey indicated that they prefer to shop in-store, while only 17% prefer shopping online. Male respondents followed a similar pattern, with 75% choosing in-store shopping, compared to 19% saying they prefer shopping online. Last year, survey results from Ipsos indicated that 6 in 10 Americans prefer shopping in-store, but that younger generations showed a greater inclination than other generations to prefer shopping online.

The Piper Jaffray study also reveals the top categories by share of teen spending. They include:

  • Clothing (21%);
  • Food (18%);
  • Accessories/personal care (10%);
  • Shoes (9%);
  • Car (8%);
  • Electronics (8%);
  • Music and movies (7%);
  • Video games (6%); and
  • Concerts and events (6%);

In other results from the survey, 70% of female teens and 55% of males say they shop at off-price stores, although fewer (55% female; 42% male) say that it is popular to shop at an off-price store. Also, more female respondents disagree than agree that they prefer to shop at an off-price store versus a traditional department store (52% vs. 41%), with males even more unambiguous in that preference (60% disagreeing vs. 32% agreeing).

When they are shopping online, Amazon is easily the favorite site, at 23% of respondents, up from 13% in the Spring 2012 survey. The next most popular shopping site, eBay, is favorite to only 5% of respondents, down from 7% last year.

About the Data: The Piper Jaffray data is based on two unique surveys:

1) Upper-income student survey

  • Classroom visit & electronic surveys of 1,600 teens; average age of 16.1;
  • Household (HH) income of more than $84k, representing the top 25% of US households;
  • Average HH of $104k.

2) Average-income study survey

  • Classroom visit & electronic surveys of 3,600 teens; average age 16.5 years;
  • HH income of less than $84k aligns more closely with the US median;
  • Average HH income of $54k.
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