December 20, 2005, 12:00 AM

Online retailers should use gadgets and games to market to young consumers

Online retailers targeting young consumers need to use gadgets and games to grab their attention, Forrester Research reports.

Online retailers targeting young consumers need to use gadgets and games to grab their attention, according to a new study from Forrester Research Inc.

More than two-thirds of young online consumers own gadgets such as PCs, DVD players, home stereos, game consoles, mobile phones, or handheld video games, Forrester found. About one-quarter own MP3 players and browser- or camera-enabled mobile phones.

In addition, consumers between the ages of 12 and 21 spend an average of 11 hours per week surfing the web-compared with 8.5 hours weekly for adults-and 79% visit game sites. More than one-third visit music sites, and almost half visit movie sites, according to Forrester.

The study also found that more than half of young, online consumers rely on their friends and families for purchase advice, and 65% tell others about products they like. In addition, teens have on average 41 buddies on their IM lists. That makes them ideal prospects for social marketing via instant messaging, mobile phones and e-mail, Forrester said.

Almost 94% of young consumers own game-playing devices, and more than half prefer gaming to watching TV. 75% use PCs to play both online and offline games, the study found.

Online retailers should use young consumers’ love of games to promote products through such tools as advergames and online video, and online promotions should include “tell-a-friend” links for e-mail, Forrester says.

Forrester surveyed 5,216 U.S. and Canadian online consumers aged 12 to 21 for the study.

 

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