December 27, 2006, 12:00 AM

E-retailers have no problem with ‘the kids today’

The old chestnut of elders bemoaning “the kids today” is not something being heard in the aisles of web stores. This is because teenage shoppers are becoming an increasingly influential online consumer, according to a new report from JupiterResearch.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

The old chestnut of elders bemoaning “the kids today” is not something being heard in the aisles of web stores. This is because teenage shoppers are becoming an increasingly influential online consumer, according to a new report from JupiterResearch. One in four teens say their parents always take into account their opinion about household purchases, finds Jupiter’s “Teen Online Shoppers: Reach Teen Influencers and Early Adopters Through Consumer-Created Content.”

“Even though teens account for only 3% of online sales right now, they can be very influential,” says Patti Freeman Evans, senior analyst and lead author of the report. “Retailers should not ignore where teens go to get information about product purchases, especially at this time of year.”

Few teens actually make purchases online independently; but of teens who do make purchases online, 83% do so with their parents present and via their parents’ credit or debit cards, the report says. However, alternative methods of payment such as PayPal and gift certificates have grown in popularity and enable teens to make purchases by themselves, the report adds.

“Retailers should look to consumer-created content and sites with expert advice to target early-adopter teens,” contends David Schatsky, president of parent company JupiterKagan Inc. “Teenagers know the Internet well, and retailers must understand their characteristics and behaviors to catch them as they begin making their first independent online purchases.”

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