July 18, 2001, 12:00 AM

Teens do lots of looking, less buying on the web, Jupiter finds

Web window-shopping leads to in-store purchasing for about one-third of American teens.

Teens spend more time than money on the Internet, new Jupiter Media Metrix research finds. While 89% of 13- to 17-year-olds never have made an online purchase, nearly one-third of them – 29% -- research products on the web prior to buying them in stores. Marketers should consider the influence of online “window-shopping" when developing advertising campaigns, as teens visit the same sites popular with adults, such as Amazon and eBay, even though they don`t have credit cards to buy online, says Jupiter.

“Many teens use the Internet as a shopping mall – a place to meet friends, play games and shop, even without the intent to purchase,” says Jupiter analyst Jared Blank. “Teens spend almost as much time on Amazon.com as adults, though few of them make purchases on the site.”

In other findings, Jupiter has determined that companies that want to attract teens should allow teen users to set up and personalize their experiences as much as possible. A full 42% of teens view personal web pages set up by other users, and home page vendors are among the top 20 sites visited by teens, though none are in the top 20 for adults.

“Integrating online and offline channels is imperative for retailers trying to reach teenagers,” says Blank. “Since so few teenagers purchase online, the web should be used as an additional means of branding and information dissemination.”


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